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UNCP looks to Japan

By Hannah Simpson
Around the Town Editor

Photo courtesy of Dr. Kevin Freeman
Dr. Bill Gash, left, meets with three delegates from the University of Tokyo in Japan to discuss student and faculty exchanges. With him are Associate Vice Chancellor for International Affairs Dr. James Callaghan, back row, center, Dr. Kevin Freeman, front row, third, and Director for the English Language Institute Ryan Griffith, right.

Five UNCP ambassadors traveled to Japan April 9 in an attempt to open communications between the two countries for a new student exchange program.

Dr. Bill Gash, associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. James Callaghan, associate vice chancellor of International Programs, Dr. Kevin Freeman and Ryan Griffith, director of the English Language Institute spent 10 days touring five different universities in Japan.

“It’s an issue of cultivation,” said Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Harrington said relations for exchanges with Japan were pursued due to the amount of study abroad requests for Japan.

He said the university hopes to not only exchange students, but faculty, as well, through the Fulbright professorship.

“[The trip] was kind of a fact finding mission,” Dr. Callaghan said.

He said the meetings with each of the five universities went well and anticipates another trip to Japan before the fall.

Dr. Callaghan specified that the meeting with the University of Tokyo went very well; it is ranked 17 in the world for best universities.

Waseda University expressed interest in Native American and indigenous studies for a specific study area during the exchange, Dr. Callaghan said.

Although UNCP has programs with Taiwan, China and Korea, historically, the university has never had an official exchange program, he said.

Dr. Harrington said invitations have been extended for the administrators and faculty of the Japanese universities to visit UNCP.

Dr. Freeman, a professor of international relations in the political science department, said the meetings “were very formal.” He said there is specific etiquette for handing out business cards and an order for speaking in meetings.

Despite the business, the delegation was also allowed to act as tourists.

The group watched a Japanese baseball game,where fans sang continuously from inning one to nine.

They also toured the Japanese legislature and experienced new foods.

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Updated: Thursday, April 24, 2008
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