Cornerstone University Welcomes Japanese Students and Faculty
by Samuel Brooks
With the start of the 2016-17 academic year, Cornerstone University welcomed a group of students and faculty from Hokuriku Gakuin University in Japan for a week-long campus visit. Cornerstone TESOL students and alumni administered a short-term English as a Second Language (ESL) and American Culture Study Program.
In an email interview, Dr. Michael Pasquale shared about his involvement with the American Culture Study Program.
Brooks: What's the process of getting a program like this set up?
Dr. Pasquale: "We have been hosting this group nearly every year since 2003. I work with a representative from Hokuriku Gakuin University and then a team works to prepare things here. For example, we have four teachers (current CU students) who prepare over the summer for the program."
Brooks: How did you become connected with Hokuriku Gakuin University?
Dr. Pasquale: "We were initially connected through CU alums Bob and Berti Cunningham. They were the main contact for many years. For a while Bob was the President of HGU."
Brooks: How many students participated in this year’s program?
Dr. Pasquale: "This year there are 20 HGU students and 4 CU students. Two faculty from HGU made the trip (including one faculty member who is a CU alum), also in addition to me, there are 3 other CU faculty who have taken part and taught classes for the HGU students on topics such as American culture and literature."
Brooks: What types of activities are scheduled for the students during their visit?
Dr. Pasquale: "In the mornings on campus, they take ESL classes. After lunch, they visit the area (or stay on campus to play sports in the gym). They have visited an apple orchard, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Lake Michigan. They have also volunteered at some local ministries."
Brooks: Is this experience one that they will be able to use as they search for jobs?
Dr. Pasquale: "Yes, exposure to American culture and using English can help them in their future job pursuits."
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Cornerstone University is a Christ-centered university with a passion for global influence through the transforming power of the gospel. As an interdenominational institution located in Grand Rapids, Mich., Cornerstone offers traditional undergraduate programs as well as adult undergraduate and graduate programs through the Professional & Graduate Studies division, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and Asia Biblical Theological Seminary.