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College of Micronesia Student Invitation Program


College of Micronesia Student Invitation Program
(Paying a visit to Temple University, Japan Campus)

Four students from the College of Micronesia (COM) in the state of Pohnpei were invited to Japan under APIC’s Student Invitation Program from November 6th to 21st, 2019. They took classes at Sophia University and Reitaku University, respectively.

This is the fourth time the student invitation project has taken place, with a total of 16 students visiting Japan from COM under the program. The Student Invitation Program is based upon an MoU signed between APIC, COM, Sophia University, and Reitaku University. APIC invites the students to Japan, and Sophia and Reitaku prepare classes, extra curriculars, and homestays for the participants. Many Japanese students, especially ones that have participated in the Micronesia Exposure Tour, also volunteer not only within the school but on weekends and holidays, creating a positive exchange between COM and Japanese students.

The students visited Temple University Japan Campus, which allows COM students to take classes for credit under an agreement signed between the two institutions. Based upon this agreement, graduates of COM can transfer into TUJ in their junior year. There were students in the group who were in their senior year at COM, and the visit seemed to be of interest. Students not only got a tour of the new campus, but also sat in for a career seminar lecture, and enjoyed lunch in the cafeteria.

On the weekend, the COM and Japanese students went together to Yokohama to visit the cup noodle museum, making an original ‘my cup noodle’, and afterward paid a visit to the NYK Hikawamaru, a freight ship built for the Japan Post, and now designated a national treasure. The sister ship to Hikawamaru, the Heianmaru, was sunk in the Chuuk Lagoon during WWII. As the memories of WWII start to fade, the visit to Hikawamaru made an impression on the students. After the visit to Hikawamaru, the group went to the top of the Yokohama Landmark Tower, enjoying the night view of the city. COM and Japanese students seemed to enjoy the last day of their time together.

College of Micronesia Student Invitation Program
(Visit to the cup noodle museum)
During the middle of the program, COM students participated in an environmental seminar held at Sophia University. The lecture was given by MCT (Micronesia Conservation Trust) consultant and currently enrolled in the Sophia University Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies doctorate program, Mr. Iain Hall. Mr. Hall talked about Micronesia’s garbage disposal problems and challenges, and policies aimed at alleviating those problems. He also talked about action plans that can be carried out at the resident level to help solve the waste disposal problem.

Throughout their two-week stay, the COM students learned many things, had new experiences and emotions through their courses at Sophia and Reitaku Universities, dorm life, personal exchanges with Japanese students, and their homestay experiences. During their presentations on the last day of the program, each student looked back on their time in Japan, giving warm thanks to Sophia and Reitaku Universities, and to their host families for taking them in, some students shedding tears while giving their speech. On the day of their departure, many of the Japanese students came out to Narita airport to say their goodbyes, and the COM students left for home with warm wishes.

College of Micronesia Student Invitation Program
(Receiving diplomas at the farewell ceremony)

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