Welcome back, Ayumi and Fuka!Thursday, March 07, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
Former exchange students return to Algoma U
SAULT STE. MARIE - Two former Japanese exchange students from Kyoto Sangyo University (KSU) have returned this week to visit Algoma University and Sault Ste. Marie, after successfully completing their studies in Japan.
Both have returned to the area as part of a vacation abroad.
Ayumi Tokuda and Fuka Kakemura are both 22-year-old Japanese KSU International Relations graduates who attended Algoma University in 2010 for a three-week intensive English experience.
From February 21 until March 12, they were immersed in Canadian and English culture, took courses at the University, and volunteered within the community at the YMCA and the local Soup Kitchen, sharing their culture, language, and experiences with the people of Sault Ste. Marie.
Today, Tokuda and Kakemura have returned to the area to revisit the University and community they have grown so close to.
Both felt the need to revisit their host families and the University that showed them so much support during their three-week stay.
According to Kakemura: "I had to revisit my host family; they were so friendly and caring. We have kept in touch since I moved back home. And I had to visit Algoma University, the professors were also so friendly and helpful, especially Marissa Ross, Nicole Gajda, and Joanne Elvy."
Both Tokuda and Kakemura selected to study at Algoma University over three other institutions in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, because of the volunteer opportunities made available in the program.
Both recall fondly their memories of volunteering, including working with young children and teaching others how to make origami.
They also chose Algoma University because of its smaller size and homey feel, something which they claim differs from most institutions in their native land of Japan.
They both stated that they have never experienced a more welcoming place than both the University and the Sault area.
Aside from their volunteer work, both took part in a variety of activities on campus, including the annual J-Night hosted by AMSA, which showcases Japanese culture.
It was Tokuda's favourite event.
"I loved J-Night! I loved being able to dance our traditional dance, the Yosakoi Saran Bushi with everyone!"
They also attended a Greyhound hockey game, and went downhill skiing and snowboarding for the first time at Searchmont.
They also really enjoyed shopping at the Station Mall.
In their current stay in Sault Ste. Marie, Tokuda and Kakemura are spending time at the University meeting with old friends and professors, visiting their old host families, once again volunteering in the community with the current KSU students, and visiting local aboriginal schools.
Although they have yet to figure out their future plans career-wise, both know their futures hold plenty of travel.
During their initial stay in Canada, they ventured to Quebec and now have a taste for French cuisine and culture and are longing to visit France soon.
They also are hopeful to visit Australia and Spain.
Not surprisingly, both also want to return again to Sault Ste. Marie, only this time in the summer, when the snow banks have melted away and the chill in the air is finally gone.
About Algoma University
Algoma University offers a wide variety of liberal arts and sciences degree options including programs in Psychology, Computer Science, Business Administration, Fine Arts, Community Economic and Social Development, and Biology in Sault Ste. Marie, Brampton, Timmins and St. Thomas.
As a partner with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Algoma U is committed to respecting Anishinaabe knowledge and culture.
Algoma University has launched its Essential Elements Campaign to expand its campus and offer more scholarships and awards to students.
To learn more, visit www.algomau.ca.