On the Road Again: Japan and Hong Kong
As the Interim Chancellor of Kapi‘olani Community College, one of my responsibilities is promoting International Education, a signature program at the College. Because of my past experience as a volunteer with Canadian University Services Overseas in Papua New Guinea and as a former F-1 visa international student, I welcome the responsibility for international education. I know the value of living in cultural contexts different from my own and of studying abroad, so I’m committed to supporting the Honda International Center’s endeavors.
At the end of October, I travelled to Japan with Takashi Miyaki, admissions specialist at Honda International Center. Our purpose was to visit schools that have established partnerships or that wish to establish partnerships with Kapi‘olani Community College. We also met with organizations that assist us in recruiting Japanese students. Takashi and our partners have been very successful in those efforts—so successful, in fact, that Kapi‘olani Community College enrolls more Japanese students than any other college in the USA.
We began in Kanazawa, where we met with officials from Kanazawa Gakuin Daigaku and its affiliated high school. The high school administrators are most interested in establishing short-term programs for their students. Over a dozen administrators and faculty from Kanazawa Gakuin listened to Takashi’s presentation and asked detailed questions both during the presentation and during the more informal debrief afterwards.
Kanazawa is famous for gold leaf. The gold leaf is produced in extremely thin sheets that need to be very carefully cut into precise squares. It can never be touched by bare fingers because it will stick to the person’s skin.
Kanazawa is an historic town, with many traditional buildings and occupations.
We visited a sake distillery and met Mr. Masatomi Kamiya, who is the 18th generation of his family to own and manage the distillery, which is now over 400 years old.
Mr. Kamiya showed us around his distillery, including the giant vessels that steam the rice. Over the next four days in Japan, we visited Kanto Gakuin and Mutsuura High School, where the school officials are eager to begin a partnership with Kapi‘olani Community College; officials with the EIKEN testing services, to sign an agreement for the next testing cycle at Kapi‘olani Community College; Meiji University, to re-sign an agreement and continue to explore new ways that we can build relationships, and the Hawaiian Education Center, where students and their parents were very enthusiastic about coming to Hawai‘i to study.
A visit to Japan would not be complete without an encounter with contemporary culture, including Godzilla.
We stayed in a section of Shinjuku called Kabukicho. If you Google it, you’ll see that it is a colorful area of town, full of shops and pachinko parlors. Takashi has a favorite Okinawan restaurant in a section of town called Golden Gai, which we visited.
In November, I travelled to Hong Kong, at the invitation of Dr. Jimmy Chan, Director of the Hong Kong Association for Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine. I was there to observe the two-day training program that was developed 12 years ago by Dr. Ed Kalinowski, who was then the Chair of Kapi‘olani Community College’s Emergency Medical Services Department. Even though he has retired from Kapi‘olani Community College, Dr. Kalinowski continues to deliver the twice yearly training to prepare medical staff in the techniques of Inter-Facility Critical Care Transport Medicine (ICCTM) with the assistance of three paramedics from Honolulu: Alan Young, Randal Tanaka, and Colin Wong.
Day 1 of the training includes didactic presentations followed by individual participants’ practicing hands-on skills at four stations: airway, pediatrics, infectious diseases, and communication, both written and two-way radio.
Day 2 gets much more exciting. The 40+ participants work in teams to respond to four scenarios. They get to use the skills they practiced in Day 1 in the context of emergency medicine, complete with taking care of manikin-patients while riding in the back of a moving ambulance.
As you can see, Kapi‘olani Community College has an extensive reach across the globe all the while maintaining its roots in the islands.