Clover Park Technical College (CPTC) is fast becoming a popular destination for international students.
Ten accounting students and one instructor from Okinawa Accounting College in Japan participated in a two-week ESL program and cultural exchange study tour February 27 & March 11, 2006, made possible through CPTC International Education Program.
With only 14 days to explore the local Seattle-Tacoma area, experience American culture up close and personal, and hone their English language skills, CPTC students, faculty, and staff helped the group feel welcome right away.
CPTC pulled out all the stops to make sure the visiting accounting students felt right at home the second they got off the airplane. CPTC students enrolled in the Massage Studies and Manicuring programs provided free back massages and manicures.
The visiting students also learned a lot about the CPTC campus during their trip. Dr. Sharon McGavick, CPTC President, hosted an informal question and answer session for the students. The group learned about college’s history, had the opportunity to ask Dr. McGavick questions and even practiced their English skills at the same time.
Practicing English was a number one priority for everyone on this cultural tour. CPTC students from English 103, taught by instructor Phil Venditti, volunteered as conversation partners & a perfect way in an informal setting to help the visiting students practice their language skills.
In an effort to get to know the visiting group better, the CPTC Accounting program sponsored a fun-filled potluck event. The occasion was loaded with both American food, like hot dogs, potato chips, and soda pop, and Japanese food like sushi and tempura. The accounting students spent the afternoon learning about each other and their respective cultures.
The group was fortunate enough to receive a history lesson about the City of Lakewood during a special visit with Lakewood City Mayor Claudia Thomas. Mayor Thomas spent the afternoon sharing stories from her recent trip to Japan, gave the students a tour around the Lakewood City Hall building, and posed for pictures inside the Lakewood City Council Chambers. Having been an English teacher in Okinawa, Mayor Thomas particularly enjoyed the visit from students who live on the island.
The group attended a special pot luck celebration hosted by the Lakewood Sister Cities Association. Students had the opportunity to practice their English during the event and mingled with local International Education supporters and Puget Sound residents from Okinawa.
The group also toured the greater Seattle-Tacoma area, visiting places like Downtown Seattle and Pike Place Market. The visiting students also had the opportunity to do lots of local shopping, bowling, movie-going, and enjoying a gourmet lunch at CPTC’s Rainier Room restaurant. Visiting during later winter provided the students the chance to witness every possible type of Northwest weather, from nearly spring-like sunny days to wind, rain and even snow!
The cultural exchange tour was sponsored by the CPTC International Education Program. CPTC will welcome International Medical Lab students during the college’s next cultural exchange and study tour program May 31 & June 2, 2006. For more information, please call coordinator Franclyn Heinecke at (253) 583-8775.