Students from the University of Kochi in Japan arrived at Elms College and met with their Friendship Partners, Elms students who will guide them during their 12-day visit.

Elms Welcomes Kochi Exchange Students

Elms College Friendship Partners show exchange students from the University of Kochi in Japan around campus on the way to settle in at the dorms. The Elms Friendship Partners will guide the Japanese students during their 12-day visit.

Elms Says ‘Hajimemashte’ to Kochi Exchange Students 

If you see them on campus, introduce yourself with a hearty “Hajimemashte!” That means “Nice to meet you!” in Japanese.

Nine students from the University of Kochi in Japan arrived at Elms College Feb. 24 as part of a longtime exchange program between the two schools.

For the next 12 days, through March 7, Elms will host the Japanese students and University of Kochi associate professor Yoshi Yamaguchi. This is the exchange’s 15th consecutive year. Each year, the Kochi students stay in residence halls at Elms, study English, attend classes related to their majors, and take in Western Massachusetts sights and cuisine.

Elms Welcomes Kochi Exchange Students

This year’s cohort -- whose majors include English, nursing, nutrition, cultural studies and social welfare -- will visit Baystate Medical Center and Bowe Elementary School to gain a more in-depth understanding of American healthcare and school systems. In addition to English instruction, the Kochi students will attend Elms classes such as Global Business, Child/Learn Development, Intro to Sociology, Sociology of Healthcare, Modern American History, Human Behavior/Social Environment, and Pharmacology.

During the 12-day visit, nearly 40 Elms students serve as Friendship Partners for the Japanese students. These Friendship Partners participate in a three-hour training course to act as roommates, classmates and partners in language and cultural activities.

Special extracurricular activities -- including bowling, shopping in Northampton and a visit to Sturbridge Village -- will show the Kochi students the fun side of American college life.

The program “opens up the world” to Elms students and gives visiting Japanese students a global perspective on their academic studies, said Joyce Hampton, Ed.D., dean of student success and strategic initiatives.

The Kochi-Elms group will host a Japanese festival from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in the Dooley Center dining hall. The whole campus is invited.