On Thursday, we attended a cooking class similar to food science labs at Brescia. We braised fish, made a tofu salad, rice with peas, and a dessert with glutinous rice balls. We learned that food presentation is really important and the portions are small. We sat down as a group to have lunch and engaged in conversation with the students. After a delicious lunch, we joined a nutrition education event, where the posters we made the previous day were showcased. When comparing Japanese posters and western posters, there is a definite difference. Western posters are less busy with little words and more pictures.
On Wednesday we got to experience gym class with first year university students and WAYO professor Kumiko Minato. We did stretches, dance exercises with music, played badminton and ping pong. Some stretches are similar to the ones we do in Canada and the dance exercise moves reminded us of the play station game known as “dancefloor”. As well, the gym was very humid and hot, so we used the student’s fans without realizing that they are actually used for dance classes!
After our fitness class we headed to the cafeteria where we enjoyed some lunch. It was our first time ordering food at the vending machine which made it memorable!
After lunch we got the chance to attend a public health class where students had to analyze data for a research study being done by the University. While we observed the class, we were asked to make posters on Canada’s Food Guide, popular Canadian recipes and traditional Canadian foods. It was great practice because it allowed us to think about our own culture and compare our dietary habits to the cultural foods and food guide here in Japan.
Tuesday morning we walked to an elementary school near WAYO. We were warmly welcomed by the Principal and staff and had the opportunity to sit down with them and answer some of their questions about Canada, as well as they answered some of our questions. We were then invited to tour the school where we observed various stages of the school’s lunch program. First, we had the chance to see the food preparation area, where meals are prepared, served and organized into the different classes. It was very interesting to see how organized and efficient the program is carried out. Next, we were welcomed into different classrooms where we got the chance to see how each meal is distributed. It was amazing to see that the very young students do most of the work! In each of the classrooms, a number of student volunteers are in charge of setting up the serving area, passing out dishes and serving their fellow students. It was incredible to see how involved the students were – from serving the meal to cleaning up.
We then sat down with the students and enjoyed a delicious lunch! They asked us questions and practiced their English, we practiced our Japanese and we all had a wonderful time. At the end, each class presented us with a gift, which was a bag filled with origami figures! Before we said our goodbyes students asked for our autographs, which made us all feel very special and welcomed. Finally, we all headed back to the University where we all decided to head to a nearby shopping area called “Matsudo Station”. Here we did some shopping and explored the town together!
On Monday morning we all met at WAYO, some of us had a hard time getting to school on our first day, but thankfully we all made it! After meeting at Dr. Garcia’s office, we headed to our welcoming lunch and were warmly greeted by the President and faculty of WAYO Women’s University. It was great having the opportunity to engage in conversation with Japanese students and professors and talking about food and culture, both Japanese and Canadian. After a tasty lunch, we were treated to a tour of WAYO. We went to the library, the school gym, cafeterias and to our surprise WAYO also has its very own museum! The view from the building was breathtaking and Tokyo’s tallest tower known as Sky Tree could be seen from WAYO. We also learned that WAYO is the tallest building within the area, and can be seen when coming to Ichikawa by train from Tokyo.
We (Anthea, Stephanie, Stefania, Kelsey, Vanessa, and Nan) are studying at WAYO Women’s University in Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan on an exchange program from June 17 – July 5, 2013.
We are all looking forward to sharing this memorable experience with all Brescia students and faculty through our weekly blogs!
On Sunday afternoon, after a long twelve hour flight we finally arrived at Narita International Airport in Tokyo. We were all very excited and anxious to meet our host families. Mariko met us at the airport and guided the way to WAYO University. We took two trains, and when we arrived at Konodai station we decided to walk the rest of the way to WAYO with our luggage; our walk was everything but smooth! Thankfully, after some steep hills, several sets of stairs, and breaking a sweat we made it to the North Building on WAYO campus! It was great walking the streets of Japan for the very first time!
After a small lesson in Japanese, we finally got to meet our families! We all anxiously headed to our respective homes, and planned to meet at WAYO at 11 am the next morning. It would be our very first time taking the bus/train to school; we all hoped not to get lost on our first day.