By BRANDI EVANS
Each year, Kennesaw State University chooses a country to focus on and study for 10 months. The university is studying Japan for the 2013/2014 academic year.
KSU began hosting the Year of Japan at its campus starting in August of 2013. The college has hosted many events over the last few months, and the program continues to engage the students with weekly speakers and awareness efforts.
The Year of Japan entails a series of different events and weekly lectures that allow students to come and listen to Japanese speakers and experts. Just recently, KSU hosted its first Japanese film festival for the students to attend and enjoy.
According to Dr. Daniel Paracka, the director of international services and programs, the purpose of the Year of Japan is to strengthen students’ understanding and appreciation of Japan.
Weekly lectures are given by Japanese experts and by professors who have traveled from Japan to KSU. The lectures vary in topic. Some are history-based while others are focused on modern culture.
The Year of Japan program also helps to fortify existing relations between partner institutions in Japan and the local Atlanta area.
“The Year of Japan is meant to expand and deepen campus community’s knowledge and experience of Japan, not just for one year, but for many years to come,” said Paracka.
Paracka said that he hopes extensive outreach to the students, local community and partners in Japan will accomplish the program’s goal to increase student and community interest in Japan.
“It’s a celebration of Japan that provides a comprehensive overview of the country’s history and culture, and we want the students to really be involved in that,” he said.
In addition to weekly lectures, KSU hosts different events to raise further campus involvement.
Just recently, the university hosted a Japanese Film Festival, which has been their largest event yet. The event lasted three days, showing a different Japanese film each night.
KSU student Emily Terry attended all three films. Terry has found the Year of Japan to be very informative and fun.
The Year of Japan brings a chance for students to learn about a culture they might not know anything about,” said Emily Terry, a junior at KSU who attended all three films in addition to most of the weekly Year of Japan lectures.
KSU continues to host weekly lectures on Japanese culture until the end of April 2014. For more information and on the Year of Japan’s activities, you can go to www.kennesaw.edu/yearofjapan.
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