Asian Party!

Fun Sumo in The Netherlands

Here in Leiden (the Netherlands) we had an introducion week for the upcoming first year students. This included visiting the student clubs around town. One of the clubs called Duivelsei, of which Frank (Another Worldwide Rep of WCI) is a member, threw an Asian style party on one of the nights. Jurrien (a participants I traveled with during WCI 2011 summer programs) and I, as students majoring in Japanese, just had to go there! There was sushi, sake, karaoke, DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) and even a sumo-wrestling-suit game to enjoy. This attracted a fair amount of people, including some upcoming first year Japanese major students. After we had a couple of beers, we decided to just talk to them and get to know them a little bit.

We ended up having some long conversations about our interests, our studies and, of course, our holidays. This was where Jurrien and I were able to tell them about our experiences with World Campus International and the staff and members. Our stories about getting dirty in rice fields, meeting an insane amount of people, the food, getting good friends from all over the world, experiencing the culture from the inside due to staying in host families, being able learning a lot (more than just the Japanese language) and about Japan’s advanced toilet technology made a really good impression.

For most of these students visiting Japan is a dream and I could see that our stories made them even more excited.

We had a lot of fun and I think some might consider joining World Campus Japan next year!

(Daniel Van Delft – The Netherlands)

A nursing home full of love and energy

Sometimes communicating with elderly people can be challenging, but communicating with elderly people that don’t speak your language…now that be a little tougher. Well in the end it turned out much better than I thought. In Uda we were invited to spend the morning at a Japanese nursing home were we had the chance to interact and learn from elderly community members at a nursing home. After we introduced ourselves we found out for some of them we were the first people they ever met from different country which was a great opportunity to represent our countries.

calligraphy kanji characters

We started off by writing calligraphy kanji characters, mostly positive characters like; Love, Dream, Hope ect. It was a great chance to learn calligraphy but also to help the members. Because some of them were in wheelchairs or slightly disabled we helped them write the calligraphy by placing our hands over theirs and writing with them. It was a very powerful moment for the group of us.

Student and community member

I think we originally planned on visiting the home and giving, serving, and impacting the community members but didn’t realize how much they would teach and impact us. When we said our goodbyes and it was very difficult for us, one of the women in a wheelchair probably in her mind 90’s took my hands and started to speak Japanese she then soon begin to cry at that moment language was no longer needed and I felt her embrace and energy and I know what she was saying was from the heart and she cared very much about the words she was saying even though she probably knew I didn’t understand. Luckily when she was speaking there was someone behind me that translated what she said. One of the things she mentioned was “Thank you so much for visiting us and spending you time with us all and I’m happy to have lived this long so I could meet you on this day.” It was a wonderful experience and its great to think that at age 90 people are still able to inspire and impact in this world!

Brandon and community member

(Brandon Serna – External Relations Manager for Summer ‘11 Road Team)

Golfing with the Japanese!


Last week when we heard we were going golfing for the day we didn’t really know what to expect and had some questions to our selves; when was the last time I golfed? Can I golf? What is Golf? But when we arrived we soon realized it was a Japanese’s style of ground golf and our teammates where mostly elderly people. So we were quite relieved that we had a chance to be good at the game. Then another surprise hit us when we saw how good the Japanese golfers were! We divided into 7 teams and played 18 holes of Japanese ground golf and it was just a blast and fun time with some really friendly people! 2 of us also got hole in ones and won some prizes!





Thanks for the fun time!

(Brandon Serna – External Relations Manager for Summer ‘11 Road Team)

A Samurai is only as strong as his sword

“While making the Katana for the Samurais we put all our heart and focus into it because we know the Samurai is putting his life on the line for his country and people.” This said by one of the sword makers while teaching us the art of making a katana.

One of the Craftsmen

Its always great to have the opportunity to see how anything is made, just so we can understand the work and effort that goes into them. I guess in this case I can say a little more work and effort go into making a Samurai sword, (Katana). I would say this because it roughly takes 3 months from start to finish to make and 5 years of training to learn the art of making them. In Arao we had the chance to visit a Dojo where lived craftsmen that make and train with Katana’s full time. It was very interesting to see their unique way of training and making the Katana’s.

Of course hearing about the swords history, purpose, and art was very interesting and exciting but we all couldn’t way to have the chance to hold the lite power of some of the world’s sharpest swords, and even get to use them! I think the expression on our faces said it all once they would hand us the sword and we realized just how lite they were! Overall the experience was full of history and interesting facts and being able to slice a blade and cut bamboo in half like it was butter was the perfect end! Thank you very much for welcoming us to your Dojo and teaching us the art of the Samurai sword!

(Brandon Serna – External Relations Manager for Summer ‘11 Road Team)