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Check in to a "ryokan" (a Japanese inn). Go to Mount Fuji or watch the "shinkansen" (high-speed train) zoom by--all activities viewers experience in a new YouTube video filmed in Japan by four Connecticut College students.
Intermediate Japanese students Kelly Parlin ´12, Lindsay Woodville ´12, Becca Cheney ´12 and Madeline Noi ´12 made the nearly 7,000-mile trip with Japanese Professor Hisae Kobayashi as a part of the College´s Traveling Research and Immersion Program (TRIP) last semester.
During their 10-day stay, the students fully immersed themselves in the culture and language, which complemented their coursework.
"Our professor had us speak in Japanese as much as possible and also had us practice polite language," Parlin said. "The ranking system is incredibly important in Japanese, and a person´s class, profession and age determine which form you use. Though other languages, such as Spanish, have polite forms, Japanese has many more variations, making hands-on experience practicing the language critical."
The video shows the students practicing Japanese at various locations, such as a "Tsukiji" (a fish market), while it also highlights them experiencing the local sights and delights.
"This trip was such an eye-opening experience that showed me I could thrive in the hustle and bustle of Japan," Parlin said, "and it reinforced my desire to study abroad there for my junior year."
In September, Parlin will study at the Doshisha University Center for Japanese Language and Culture in Kyoto, Japan.