BY IAN MCBRIDE
Some Conestoga degree students will have the opportunity of a lifetime when they travel to China and Japan in May 2015.
And, it gets better. The two-week trip is a new course that meets one of their elective requirements.
Taking place from May 1-17, the course, titled, cultural, historical and economical overview of Japan and China, builds on last year’s expedition to England and France. Students will explore four cities (two in China and two in Japan), and spend three or four days in each. They will study various aspects of the countries, such as culture, politics, history, economy, spirituality and food, and will come to understand the differences between the East and the West.
Daily meetings will be held to discuss course material and activities for the day, and the course evaluation will consist of an exam, daily journal and paper.
Pierre Brunet and Renee Ha are the instructors who will be accompanying the students to Asia. Brunet is a professor in Conestoga’s School of Business and Ha is a lecturer in the School of Liberal Studies.
The cities that will be explored in China are Suzhou and Shanghai, and Kyoto and Tokyo in Japan. Suzhou is a 2,500-year-old city that is now the cultural epicentre and Shanghai is a thriving international city that is the economic powerhouse of China. Kyoto is known as the imperial city and cultural soul of Japan and Tokyo is the capital, which has the most populous metropolitan area in the world at approximately 36 million people.
According to Brunet, population density will be a drastic change for students. “The density of population will be the first shock,” he said.
“In the Tokyo subway, during rush hour, individuals are hired to push people in the wagons. All this is done with care, but that will be unusual for students.”
Adjusting to the new languages will be difficult as well. “Students will be exposed to the writing (through signs and indications) as we travel around. They will also hear the language. It is certain that they will find this point challenging as no one will have any points of reference,” Brunet said.
Safety will not be an issue because China and Japan have excellent track records in terms of low levels of theft and aggression.
The cost of the trip (including taxes) is $3,650, which covers airfare, local transportation, accommodations, breakfast (China only) and museums.
Students interested in signing up for this course should attend one of the 30-minute presentations being held on Oct. 20, 22, 23 or 24 at the Doon or Cambridge campuses. For times and room numbers, or for further information, email Pierre Brunet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application deadline is Nov. 3.