On 1 August 2015, nine students and one teacher from the Faculty of Economics at Meiji Gakuin University departed from Narita Airport (Tokyo) for Hope College (Holland, Michigan, US). For some students, this was their first trip abroad. Others had been abroad before, but all were equally excited about this opportunity to spend part of their summer break overseas. After arriving at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, the group was met by Professor Andy Nakajima of Hope College, who took the group on a three-hour bus ride to Hope College. During the bus ride, students got their first views of the skyscrapers and suburbs of Chicago, where they would get to spend time towards the end of the trip.
Upon arriving at Hope College, the group checked in to dormitories and had an orientation meeting regarding university policies, the campus, and the surrounding town of Holland. All students were welcomed by “buddies” from Hope College, who helped them get accustomed to campus life, answered their questions, and guided them to various events during the two-week stay. Students were impressed that the campus was located in a natural setting, with abundant green grass, trees, and even squirrels and rabbits…local wildlife! One student even said it felt a little strange to be able to walk on the university grass! Much different than the urban landscape of Tokyo!
The trip to Hope College and Chicago offered students many great opportunities. These included experiencing campus life in the US, attending lectures given by Hope College professors (on topics such as accounting, finance, and cost-management), interacting with the local community, and visiting various businesses, both in Holland and in Chicago. Of course, there were also lots of opportunities for fun, like shopping, swimming, and eating. Details of the groups’ activities are detailed in writing, through photos, and in the video.
2015年8月1日明治学院経済学部の引率教員１名と９名の学生が成田空港からHope College（アメリカ合衆国、ミシガン州ホランド）に向けて出発しました。数名の学生にとっては初めての海外旅行で、そうでない学生も含め、夏休みを外国で過ごすという機会を楽しみにしていました。シカゴのオヘア空港に到着した学生たちはHope Collegeの中嶋教授に歓迎され、バスで３時間のドライブの後Hope Collegeに到着しました。車中では今回のプログラム終盤で訪れるシカゴの街の高層ビルや郊外の景色を窓から楽しみました。
Hope Collegeに到着すると、プログラム期間中滞在する寮にチェックインし、学校の方針やホランドの街などに関するオリエンテーションを受けました。それから、学生たちはバディー（プログラム期間中学校生活に馴染めるよう助けてくれたり、質問に答えてくれたり、イベントに案内したり、学生たちの手伝いをしてくれるHope Collegeの学生）からの歓迎を受けました。参加学生たちは豊富な緑の中でリスやウサギさえいるような環境にHope Collegeのキャンパスがあること、そこでの暮らしに感激し、大学の芝生を歩き回れること違和感を感じる、という学生もいました。東京の都会的な景色とは全く異なる風景が広がっていたのでした。
Hope Collegeとシカゴでの滞在中、学生たちはたくさんの素晴らしい経験をしました。例えばアメリカの大学でのキャンパスライフ、Hope Collegeの教授による講義（テーマは会計、財務、原価管理など）、地元の人たちと関わりを持ち、ホランドとシカゴで様々な企業を訪問したりもしました。もちろん買い物、食事、泳ぎに行くといった、楽しい時間もたくさんありました。その詳細については彼らのレポート、写真やビデオから見ることができます。
Saturday 1 August
After arriving on Japan Airlines flight 10 at O’Hare Airport, we took a bus to Hope College. Students had an orientation session with Professor Nakajima and the “buddies” and spent time unpacking and getting used to their dormitory. Students had their first of many meals at the university cafeteria, which had a nice atmosphere and a wide variety of different dishes throughout our stay. In the evening, the group went shopping at Mayer’s, which is a mega-store that has a supermarket, pharmacy, and department store all in one. Many students were amazed at the size and variety of products.
Sunday 2 August
Students had their first of several Business English classes with Professor Emma Nakajima, who got to know the students and shared some of her interesting experiences of living in the US compared to Japan. In the afternoon, students attended an official Japanese service, which included university officials and delicious food.
Monday 3 August
On Monday, another Business English class was held in the morning, and we went on a Hope Campus Tour in the afternoon. We got to hear about the universities long and distinguished history and visit buildings like the library, the “Vander-plex” (a series of large classroom buildings whose names all begin with the Dutch “Vander”), and the university chapel.
Tuesday 4 August
Tuesday’s schedule included an accounting lecture by Professor Vandenburg of Hope College. Students got to work with calculators and each other to complete balance sheets regarding companies’ use of funds. After lunch, there was another Business English class, which was followed by a guest lecture from Ms. Bishop, who discussed the roles of women in business as well as how Japanese car manufacturers have influenced American production.
Wednesday 5 August
On Wednesday morning, students learned about finance from Professor Porter during a lecture. This included examining information on Google Finance in order to determine a company’s monetary value and also try to predict what the company might do in the near future. Students learned how to interpret market caps, dividends, and yields. Students also participated in a stock market simulation game to “buy, buy, buy” or “sell, sell, sell”. In the afternoon, Professor Clouse discussed some differences between the education systems of the US and Japan. This gave students a better idea of the typical experience of American students.
After the lectures, students went into Holland to conduct short interviews with local business owners and workers. These took place along the popular “8th Street”, which is about a 5 minute walk from campus. In their Business English classes, students had prepared questions about local businesses’ busy days, popular products, and customers. They conducted interviews at places like candy stores, clothing shops, and restaurants.
Thursday 6 August
Thursday included a lecture on Economics by Professor Estelle. This session saw students involved in a barter system game in which they had to trade small items. Professor Fila delivered an interesting lecture on Marketing in the afternoon.
After classes on this day, students joined a gathering of students from other overseas programs at a picnic dinner on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. After filling up on hamburgers, hot dogs, salad, and potato chips, we enjoyed swimming in the comfortable waters of the lake and watching the sun set.
Friday 7 August
On Friday, the group made its first visits to area businesses. The first visit was at Gentex Inc., which makes mirrors and cameras for automobiles. Among the innovative products they showed us were mirrors for airplanes that automatically adjust their tint and a rearview mirror for cars that has a video screen imbedded in it for back viewing. After a lunchtime break that included a trip to a Dutch Village souvenir shop and a meal at a Chinese buffet, the group visited Herman Miller, a revolutionary furniture design company. Students were impressed with the relaxed corporate atmosphere at Herman Miller as well as the work place design and architecture. A manager discussed their management systems and CEO-employee relations, which are noticeably different than those in a typical Japanese company.
In the evening, the group was lucky to get invited to a home pool party by a friend of Professor Nakajima’s. This was a unique opportunity for students to visit a real American family at their home. Students enjoyed talking to the family, playing in the pool, playing basketball, and eating barbequed chicken.
Saturday 8 August
After a lot of hard work and interesting classes during the week, Saturday was a day for relaxing, culture, and shopping. First, we visit a local farmer’s market, where area farmers sell vegetables, fruits, and homemade snacks. After that, we drove about 30 minutes to a large shopping mall, where students spent about five hours shopping. For dinner, we went to a Mexican restaurant, where we enjoyed tacos, nachos, enchiladas, fajitas and Mexican fried ice cream for dessert. Since some students also study Spanish at Meiji Gakuin University, this was a good chance for them to hear Spanish and read menus in Spanish in an authentic environment.
Sunday 9 August
On Sunday, students had a Business English class in the morning and did presentation practice with their “buddies” in the afternoon. In the evening, some students played tennis or badminton at the university athletic center.
Monday 10 August
After more presentation practice on Monday, students went to a local Japanese restaurant. They were able to compare the American version of Japanese food to their typical restaurant experiences in Japan. Following lunch, students had an accounting lecture from Professor Geddes.
Tuesday 11 August
On Tuesday morning, students gave their presentations, either in pairs or individually, in front of Hope College faculty members. For the presentations, each student chose a product (for example, the microwave, GPS navigation systems) and then described its history and development. Students interacted with faculty and staff through question and answer sessions after their presentations.
Wednesday 12 August
Students checked out of their dorm rooms on Wednesday morning, and we headed to Chicago by van. Since we made good time on the highway, we were able to stop by some great viewing spots to take in the scenery of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago before checking in to the hotel. Then we visited JETRO, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Japanese Consulate. This included a walk down Chicago’s version of “Wall Street”, with major banking institutions on both sides of the street. In the evening, we went to the tourist area of Navy Pier for dinner and a special summer fireworks show.
Thursday 13 August
This was a free day in Chicago for students to explore the city, try local foods, and do some shopping. Some students also went to Wrigley Field to watch the Chicago Cubs play in a Major League Baseball game. In the evening, students packed their bags and prepared for our morning flight back to Tokyo.
Friday 14 August
We departed for the airport early in the morning and boarded Japan Airlines flight 09 for our return trip to Narita Airport.
Saturday 15 August
After arriving at Narita Airport, students said good bye to each other and went on their separate ways home to enjoy the rest of their summer break, with fond memories of their time at Hope College and Chicago.
|8月7日 (金)||Gentex社、Herman Miller社企業見学
|8月14日 (金)||シカゴ オヘア空港から成田空港へ|