In fall quarter this year, several students at Bellevue College will embark on a study abroad program to either Japan or England. During this time the students will be enrolled in 15 credits, the equivalent of a full class load at BC.
The Japanese group will be hosted by Kogakuin university in Hachioji. The university itself is focused on teaching engineering and architecture. Hachioji is about 40 minutes from Tokyo and “boasts many large colleges and universities.” Students will live in apartments contracted by the university, likely sharing them with other students. They are Japanese-style lodgings with a bathroom, a kitchen and futons to sleep on. The Hachioji campus offers many food choices for students.
According to an article on the BC website, “The courses offered are specially chosen to give participants interesting, valuable and relevant instruction that exposes students to the cultural, history, fauna and geological differences that are unique to Japan.” The students on the trip will be taking several field trips to places like the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno, photography galleries in Shinjuku, the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi and the Akihabara Electric Town. The program will cost $6,290, not including college tuition, passport fees, local transportations, meals and other personal expenses.
The group of students on the trip to London will be housed in British homestays, where breakfast will be provided Monday through Friday and dinner on Monday through Thursday. According to the BC website, “Living in a homestay is a great way of getting to know real ‘Brits’ and to experience British family life and culture.” The trip also includes free wireless Internet at the AIFS student center and an orientation program consisting of a sightseeing tour of London. Typical events in the curriculum include day trips to several locations such as Oxford, Stonehenge, Bath and Brighton. Also offered on the trip is a soccer match and various theatre performances that students can sign up for upon arrival in London. The per-person fee for this trip is $7,395, not including any meals outside of the scheduled ones at the homestay, tuition, textbooks and other expenses.
Li Liu, professor at BC and organizer of the events, explicitly differentiated between these study abroad programs and other trips that only covers tourist attractions. In her words, “I expect students to open their mind and vision of the world we live in by living and studying in a different country.” She stated that a study abroad program offers plenty of opportunities for students to interact with the locals and gain a better understanding of their daily lives. According to Liu, “Ideally, you will return with not only improved knowledge of the said country, but also an overall updated vision of the world we collaboratively share with everyone else.” For any questions about the study abroad program, Liu encouraged students to contact her.
The deadline for application to both of these programs is late spring quarter of this year.