International Ambassadors experience Japanese summer

01 October 2018

Two International Ambassadors at Burton and South Derbyshire College (BSDC) recently returned to Burton after a two week exchange visit to Nagoya College in Japan.

BSDC International Ambassadors, Patryk Sadowski and Grace Betteridge arrived in Nagoya, Japan on Saturday 14th July, keen for the rich cultural experience that was ahead of them. Greeted by teachers at the airport, they received a very warm welcome and were well looked after for the duration of their visit.

Their first day at Nagoya College was spent getting to know the other students and teachers, with a Japanese student assigned to providing translation duties, which helped to break down the communication barrier during the two week trip. They also got to work on their Japanese by taking a Japanese test, which was split into the two alphabets, Hiragana and Katakana. This helped the students use their knowledge of the Japanese alphabets and learn more about Japanese grammar.

The following day was a culture day, where they explored some Japanese traditions, including wearing a piece of clothing called a Yukata, and they got to try sushi and nagashi sōmen, which is sōmen noodles flowing down a bamboo shoot water stream. The noodles are caught using chopsticks before they are eaten.

They also met lots of students who studied courses such as Art and Design and Business, and they got to join them as they made origami, held a raffle and made a buffet. They also received portraits of themselves created by two Japanese students.

During the trip, the students had two weekends of free time where they got the opportunity to do a bit more cultural exploration, including wandering traditional gardens and shops, along with trying more Japanese food. They also visited Shirakawa-Gō, an historic town located in the Japanese mountains with magnificent views.

Burton and South Derbyshire College is a local college with a global reach, not only supporting students from Burton upon Trent and surrounding areas to aim high, work hard and strive for success, but the College also has a true international focus, welcoming students from as far afield as the USA, Japan, Morocco, Korea, Russia and India. BSDC’s international focus also benefits its own students, giving them the chance to learn about different cultures and take part in cultural exchange programmes.

Commenting on her visit to Japan, Level 3 Art & Design student, Grace Betteridge said: “One of the great things about this trip has been meeting people because I think you can learn a lot just by talking to people from different cultures, and of course you can make some great friends, whom you will never forget.

“Most importantly, I felt so rewarded after the trip, as on many occasions I had to step out of my comfort zone, knowing that I was having a once in a lifetime experience. I felt very proud that I took the opportunity and it’s something that I suggest everyone does because taking every opportunity that comes your way can enable you to do some amazing things. I think I am living proof of that!”

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