MFAQ for Parents
Chubu Program 2009-2010
Update on August 18, 2009
Dear Chubu Program Parent(s),
Greetings from Ohio University! My name is Chris Thompson, and I am the director of OU’s Japanese Language Study Abroad Program at Chubu University (CU) in Japan, better known as, The Chubu Program. I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some information about the 2009-2010 Chubu Program on which your son or daughter will be embarking this fall. I will begin with some information about travel to Japan and an overview of the program, then provide some other details pertaining to this year's experience. This letter is intended for all Chubu Program parents regardless of your child’s length of stay.
Travel to Japan
CU is located in the city of Kasugai, a suburb of Nagoya in Aichi prefecture, central Japan. Nagoya is Japan’s fourth largest city, and is situated Southwest of Tokyo near Kobe, Kyoto, and Osaka. Each year, all OU students participating in the Chubu Program begin their studies together, on-site, at the CU campus, in late September. Though the trip to CU begins for OU students at various points of origin in the U. S. (this year students are departing from Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus), they will all meet at the departure gate for their international flight in Detroit, MI, for the direct flight to Nagoya, Japan.
This year, six OU students are participating in the Chubu Program. Three-month students return in December, Six-month students fly home in March of '10, and the Nine-month students travel back in August of '10. As program director, I usually travel with the students to CU each fall, and stay for the first month in Japan though I am not on campus much during the second and fourth weeks. This year, however, due to a new administrative assignent back at OU, I will not be traveling with students, but will join them in December for about a week. (For more information on who is available to oversee OU students at CU when I am not on the CU campus, skip down to the section titled, "Oversight of OU Student - My Assistant Director.")
For all students participating in the 2009-2010 Chubu Program, departure for Japan is scheduled for Thursday, September 10th. I will be tracking the students by phone as they depart from Port Columbus and the other locations to ensure that they meet up with their other group members in Detroit. For security reasons and in order to facilitate a smooth departure from the U. S., I like to maintain cell phone contact with at least one designated student departing from each airport from which a student is departing. This student will act as a group coordinator at their point of departure until all program participants meet in Detroit. More about this plan and my cell phone information will be provided to all students closer to departure so communication between us can occur as smoothly as is possible.
Also for security reasons, the details pertaining to your son or daughter’s departure will not be posted on this site. Each student should have received his or her departure information by e-mail or otherwise from me by now (August 18th). Please keep in mind that realistically, the exact times for all flights can fluctuate slightly between now and September 10th. Please check flight times from your son or daughter's point of departure at least once 24 hours prior to departure. Please check departure times again the night before our departure date. On departure day, please be sure to arrive at the airport at least two hours ahead of the scheduled departure time. Though the first leg of the journey is a domestic flight, check-in counter personnel are typically more sympathetic to the needs of international passengers if there is plenty of time to help them. At least once before departure day, I will be in touch with each student individually on the phone to coordinate departure information and details. Between now and September 10th, if you have any questions pertaining to the trip, please don't hesitate to call me at my office or at home. I am happy to provide any contact information to you as is necessary, but will not list it here.
Congratulations on taking the study abroad challenge. This looks to be another great year for the Chubu Program!
All OU students participating on the Chubu Program are required to have student visas issued by the Japanese Government through a designated Japanese Conulate in the United States. The designated Japanese Consulate for OU students regardless of their official state of residence is the Japanese Consulate in Detroit, MI. During August, paperwork from Japan and an application for this student visa must be sent by each OU student with his or her valid passport to the Japanese Consulate in Detroit. Much of this paperwork comes from the Office of International Programs (the CIP) at CU, but is not usually available until the beginning of August. I will be in touch with your son or daughter regularly by e-mail staring in early August, and will convey all necessary information regarding the procurement of their visas directly to them. The visa application process is not complicated, but is a little labor intensive. If you or your son or daughter have any questions about visas, please feel free to communicate with me directly, or through your child at any time.
Once in Japan, the first few days of the Chub Program consists of campus orientations, a language placement test, a welcome reception, and other “settling-in” activities. Unfortunately, a precise schedule of these activities is not usually available until students arrive on the CU campus at the beginning of September. Classes usually begin on the Thursday or Friday of their second week in Japan - one week earlier than the regular graduate and undergraduate classes at CU. Chubu Program classes begin each weekday at 9:30am, and last until 12:30 or 1:00pm (with breaks every hour or so) depending on the day of the week. OU students will be studying in level-appropriate Japanese classes with other international students from Asia, Africa, and Europe. Last year, OU students studied with classmates from Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, China, India, Nepal, Nigeria and the United Kingdom. As you may have heard, periodic excursions, a homestay experience, an overnight trip to Kyoto, and numerous other special events are part of the academic program for the fall quarter of 2009. Also, all students will also write and deliver a speech to Japanese children at a local elementary school! Winter and spring quarter classes follow a similar pattern. During the final week of your student's scheduled period of stay, Chubu Program classes culminate in a “graduation ceremony” (scheduled for December 11th, 2009 [for three-month students], January 29th, 2010 [for the six-month students]– then again on July 31st, 2010 [for the twelve-month students] ). Three-month students return to the U. S. following their December completion ceremony. Six-month and nine-month students stay on.
Six-month and nine-month students attend classes until December 20th or so, then enjoy a two week end-of-the-year break. Classes resume in January.
Due to a variety of factors, the normal learning opportunities available to OU students in Japan during winter quarter will not be offered this year. Therefore, February and March are completely unscheduled for the one-year students staying on until August in 2010. However, because there is nothing scheduled, it is possible to travel and/or to secure a part-time job during this period through OU connections on the CU campus. Please consult with Dr. Thompson regarding these options.
The Japanese school year begins in April and ends in late February. Therefore, One-Year Program students will have an end of the academic year break for most of March following their Cultural Immersion and Homestay Experience. Classes resume according to a schedule similar to fall and winter quarters in early April. Spring quarter lasts through the end of July.
A Recent History of the Chubu Program and Related Information
It was during the fall of 1998 that I inherited the Chubu Program directorship from Dr. Gerry Krzic (now Director of OU’s Ohio Program of Intensive English [OPIE]) who had directed the program since its inception in the fall of 1993. This fall marks the 17th year of the Chubu Program. OU and Chubu have been engaged in international educational collaborations for nearly 40 years. Many of the key people at CU that make the Chubu Program possible such as Professor Miki Ueda and CU Office of International Programs Office Manager Michiko Ishinabe, are OU graduates - as is Mr. Greg King my Chubu Program Associate Director introduced below. Since 1993, the Chubu Program has sent over 170 OU students to CU to study Japanese.
Oversight of OU Students - My Assistant Director
As mentioned briefly above, each year, I travel with OU students to Nagoya, and am usually based at CU for the first full month of the Program - though not this year. While directing the Chubu Program is one of my primary responsibilities in Japan during the fall, I am also an academic - a cultural anthropologist who specializes in the study of Japanese traditional folk culture. I also utilize this month to conduct fieldwork, attend conferences, carry-out OU business, and to further develop educational opportunties for OU students in Japan. This takes me away from the CU campus for sometimes days at a time.
During the periods when I am away from the CU campus while I'm in Japan, and following my return to OU in October, the day-to-day management of the OU students is in the hands of my very capable Program Associate, Mr. Greg King (OU graduate and Chubu University English Department faculty member), and the Chubu University Japanese Study Abroad Program staff in the Center For International Programs (CIP). In my absence (though I am never more than a phone call away), Mr. King meets regularly with all OU students to assure that everything is going well. Mr. King's experience in Japan is extensive, having lived there for a majority of his adult life. His work with OU students on the Chubu Program is one key reason for the program's success.
Thompson's Japan Experience
Japan is in many ways, my home. My parents served as United Methodist Missionaries in Japan from 1959 – 1999. I was born in Kyoto in 1962 and grew up in Hiroshima and Tokyo, never having lived in the U. S. until college. Since 1988, I have visited Japan at least once each year. I have lived in Japan during my adult life as well, the latest stint being a two-year fieldwork stay in Towa-cho (the site of one of our OU Immersion Homestay Experiences) from 1994-96. The sole purpose of bringing this up is to reassure you that in Japan, I know my way around. While under my supervision at CU, your son or daughter will be safe. Various emergency scenarios have been anticipated, and plans to handle them are in place. If you ever have any questions or concerns about this or anything else, you are invited to contact me directly, or communicate with OU’s Office of Education Abroad at any time.
OU – Chubu Ties
Since establishing sister-school relations in 1970, OU and CU have enjoyed a strong relationship. As a result, many OU graduates like Mr. King (above) are currently employed at CU as English instructors (in Mr. King's case, he is a faculty member) and are related to the Chubu Program in many significant capacities. Another example of our strong personal and institutional ties is Professor Miki Ueda, lead Japanese instructor of the Chubu Program and Director of Japanese Language Instruction at Chubu, who completed her MA in Linguistics at OU in 1993. Ms. Ueda will oversee the academic progress of OU students and be their homeroom advisor. Many other OU related Americans will be visibly present on the CU campus. To date, 50 OU faculty members in various fields ranging from physics and computer science to library administration have visited, taught, and/or conducted researched at CU. In 1997, OU’s then President Glidden visited CU and traveled with OU students on a weekend trip to Kyoto. Current OU President McDavis became personally acquainted with the CU administration when he made his first visit to the Kasugai campus in March of 2006. Over the years, CU officials have visited OU many times - most recently in May of 2007. At this time, CU Vice-President Ito, accompanied by Dr. Tsuchiya (Director, CU Center For International Programs), Mr. Ihata (Director, CU Grounds), and Mrs. Amy Oya (CU Center For International Programs) visited OU President McDavis to renew a Five-Year Institutional Agreement.
The Chubu Program provides a high quality learning experience that has opened many doors to new academic and employment opportunities for many OU students. For this reason alone (and for many others I won’t take time to mention here), I am personally very pleased that your child has chosen to study in Japan with us! In order to help you better understand some of the details of the program, I have posted some answers to frequently asked questions (as well as other pertinent information) in other sections of this Web site. Information pertaining to “culture shock” can also be found here. After looking over the posted material, please discuss them with your son or daughter (even if briefly) before he/she departs for Japan.
Preparing For Departure
One of the most important ways that you can help support your son our daughter while they are in Japan is to keep in regular contact with them. Although e-mail and phone contact is good, “keeping in touch” can also include periodic letters and/or care packages. Recently taken photographs and/or newspaper clippings from home always seem to brighten a study abroad student’s day. If possible, try to mail a letter or post card a week to ten days before your student leaves for Japan so they have mail waiting for them when they arrive on the Chubu campus. An address where such correspondence and care packages can be sent is included in the MFAQ's link in this Web site. "The Information for Students" section of this Web site contains a packing list, baggage allowance information, tips on how to minimize jet lag, and other information pertinent to his or her upcoming trip. Please review this information with your son or daughter in preparation for their Japan trip.
If you have any questions about the program or anything else, please feel free to contact me at any time. Just contact Loretta Dehmann in the Departmentof Linguistics at OU, identify yourself as a study abroad parent, and tell her what you need. Mrs. Dehmann is trained to screen your call. As final preparation for departure, I usually like to also put in a call to parents as well. In late August, please expect a call from me unless I've heard from you first!
Last, but not least, I want to express my excitement about the upcoming program. It should be another great year! I have really enjoyed working with your sons and daughters since spring and look forward to introducing them to Japan!
S. Thompson, Ph.D. (Cultural Anthropology) Associate Professor of
Japanese Language & Culture
(office) 740-593-0666 (department) 740-593-4564
Updated on August 18, 2009
How many credits does my student earn on the Chubu Program?
The number of credits earned depends on the length of a student's program. The credit distribution works out as listed below.
Fall Quarter: 16 OU credits - 12 language, 4 culture
Winter Quarter: 12 OU credits - 8 language, 4 culture (Aske and Iwate Cultural Immersion and Homestay Experience) * SITUATION IS DIFFERENT FOR 09-10 PROGRAM
Spring Quarter: 16 OU credits - 12 language, 4 culture
The winter quarter credit total requires a little explanation. Fewer classroom contact hours during winter quarter at Chubu University make it impossible to offer students the same number of credits they earn in fall and spring quarter. Fortunately, the Iwate Homestay Experience enables OU to offer students a total of 12 credit hours. In cases where students must be registered for 16 credits during winter quarter in order to maintain scholarships or other forms of aid, special arrangements can be made that enable students to earn 4 more credits.
When will I (we) be billed for the balance of what my student owes for the Chubu Study Abroad Program? By late August, you should have received a bill from this office. If you have not, or still have questions, please contact Catherine Marshall, Director, OU Office of Education Abroad at (740) 593-4583 or Dr. Thompson.
Airline Tickets: All students will be issued electronic ticket. Pertinent information will be provided to each student prior to departure day. For any specific questions, contact Dr. Thompson.
The Dates for the 2009-2010 Study Abroad Program. All students will depart for Japan on September 10, 2009.
3-month students return December 13th, 2009
6-Month Students return on February 11th, 2009
9 -Month Students return in August 5th, 2010
Address to mail letters/packages
Japan is 13hrs. ahead of EST in the US during the summer,
14hrs. ahead when we “Fall back” during the winter.
* Please send all mail for your student with his
or her name on it in c/o Mrs. Michiko Ishinabe at the above
Other Important Contacts
The Consulate General of Japan, Detroit
The U. S. Embassy in Tokyo
The U. S. Consulate General in Osaka-Koba
The U. S. Consulate in Nagoya
Chubu University Web Page: http://www.chubu.ac.jp/english/
Nagoya City Web Page: http://www.city.nagoya.jp/global/en/
Metric Conversions: <http://www.metric-conversions.org/>