Gardner-Webb Hosts Japanese Study Abroad Students

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Tucker Student Center, Gardner-Webb

University Demonstrates Commitment to World Class Academics

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb University welcomed four Japanese engineering students during a two-week visit to experience English, engineering and American culture. The study abroad visit was made possible through the University’s English as a Second Language program, facilitated by World Languages and Cultures Associate Professor Dr. Lorene Pagcaliwagan.

The group consisted of three undergraduate students—Ryosuke Mori, Yoshitaka Toeda, and Kyouhei Miyama—and one graduate student, Hironori Sakamoto, from Chiba University in Chiba, Japan, a suburb of Tokyo.

“I have been completely impressed with these four young men and their efforts to absorb all they can and use English as much as they can,” said Dr. Pagcaliwagan, who teaches French and Spanish. “This was their first visit to America, so the myths or exaggerated perceptions they may have believed through movies and media are now reframed by their own experiences and newly gained knowledge.”

Duke Energy Steam Station, Cliffside, N.C.

In addition to their academic studies, the students toured several points of cultural interest across the Southeast, including the Duke Energy Cliffside Steam Station, Facebook Data Center, Baldor Electric Company, Hattori Racing Enterprises, NASCAR Hall of Fame, World of Coca-Cola, and the cities of Charleston, S.C., and Atlanta, Ga.

Dr. Pagcaliwagan taught English as a foreign language at Chiba University for 13 years before coming to Gardner-Webb. In early 2014, she founded the English as a Second Language program as a partnership between GWU and Chiba University. The students’ visit was a pilot study abroad program, and both universities will evaluate its future this year to decide on factors such as the frequency and number of participants.

Facebook Data Center, Forest City, N.C.

Pagcaliwagan hopes for the program’s expansion. “My hope for the students is a greater understanding of American culture and how Japanese culture compares,” Pagcaliwagan shared, ”in addition to developing their ICC (Intercultural Communicative Competence) skills to become more effective in their communication and navigation of interactions with people whose values differ from theirs. ”

To read about the students on GWU-Today, the University’s online student publication, visit http://gwu-today.com/?p=1035.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University offers a comprehensive academic experience that introduces students to the diverse world of ideas and to the people who think them, preparing them for professional success and for productive citizenship.