Classes are over, final papers have been submitted, and the CIEE fall semester program is drawing to a close. Some students will head back to the US at the end of this week, while others will remain in Japan a bit longer to decompress, explore the countryside, and sneak in a few last things on their Tokyo to-do lists. For many students, final trips to kaitenzushi, shabu shabu, and all-you-can-eat sweets buffets are a high priority!
The first month of 2012 was a particularly busy month for CIEE students in Tokyo. After a two-week winter recess, classes reconvened on January 5. Shortly after, students had a three-day weekend to celebrate seijin no hi or Coming of Age day. Several CIEE students dressed up in suits and long-sleeved furisode kimono to attend local ceremonies near their dormitories and homestays.
On January 11, we had a CIEE excursion to Ryogoku for the sumo tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan. We sat through several lower-ranking sumo matches before getting to watch the highest rank of wrestlers, yokozuna, later in the day. We also had the opportunity to try chankonabe, a hot pot dish traditionally consumed by sumo wrestlers.
Despite their busy schedules, several CIEE students volunteered to give tours of the Sophia University campus and share their experiences with a large group of visitors (including the new CEO) from CIEE’s headquarters in Portland, Maine.
On January 18, we held our End of Semester Ceremony and Reception at Arucadia Ichigaya. Students received program completion certificates, performed entertaining skits, and submitted votes for our fall semester photo contest. At the reception, students had a chance to mingle with the host families, thank program volunteers and staff, and enjoy a delicious buffet of everything from sushi to cake!
While we will have to say goodbye to our fall semester students at the end of this week, our Academic Year Program (AYP) students will be back in early April for spring semester at Sophia University. We will update our blog occasionally during the break, so check back soon for more on the adventures of CIEE students in Tokyo.
Shannon Quinn, Student Services Manager
I'm including Issei Kashima's winning photo, 柄杓 Water Ladles from our fall semester photo contest. Other winning entries will be posted soon.