SBCC’s students to visit nuclear war site, Tokyo Tower in Japan

Courtesy+art+from+Michael+Stinson

Michael Stinson

Courtesy art from Michael Stinson

CLARA A. UTTENTHAL, Channels Staff

This upcoming summer, City College students have the opportunity to spend three weeks in the Land of the Rising Sun while studying communication and film.

“Japanese people are the best at everything they do. There’s nothing else like the food in Japan,” said Michael Stinson, film and media studies professor. “If they make Italian food, they make the best Italian. And the Japanese food is so wonderful and always presented elegantly.”

Study Abroad will hold their first informational meeting about the 2018 program in Japan 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, in the Luria Library. Communications instructor Mika Garard and Stinson will travel with the students, teach daily classes and show them around the island.

“I want the students to not just be tourists, but for them to have a chance to see how the Japanese live,” said Garard looking back on when she arrived in the U.S. as a Japanese student. “Like when I first got here, I wanted to do things like real Americans: Go to Target.”  

Japan has a history that goes back thousands of years and the ancient culture is well kept throughout the land. Garard emphasized that she wants the students to visit the must-see temples and old villages but also that they get out of their comfort zone and engage with the Japanese people.

The students will travel on small boats out on the Sumida River and take part in the Sumida River Fireworks Festival, spend time in Kyoto exploring Buddhist temples, go to the top of the Tokyo Tower in Minato, visit the Hiroshima Peace memorial and much more.

Having spent much time in Asia working as a journalist and living out of a suitcase, Stinson is looking forward to introducing the students to Japanese culture.

“Japanese people are the most kindest, open and engaging people you can meet,” said Stinson.

Stinson lived in Tokyo for six years.

“Travel is so important because it opens the world to our students and gives them a global perspective on other cultures,” said Stinson. “If everyone had the opportunity of travelling, it would solve many of our global conflicts.”

The program is tentative but it is slowly coming together. There are plenty of possibilities to get financial aid in the form of scholarships, e.g. The Benjamin A. Gilman and SBCC Study Abroad Scholarships.

The Study Abroad program is also hosting a STEM program in Germany and an Architecture and Art History program in Paris this upcoming summer.