Days 1 and 2: First Impressions



Ian’s note


We arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand around 9:00 PM on Friday March 17th, about 30 hours after we departed from Narita Airport. The students were all very tired, but were warmly greeted by homestay families and Lincoln University staff upon arrival in Christchurch. All students spent Saturday with their host families and then some of the students met Ian and Hosaki downtown on Sunday to explore some of Christchurch, including the Bridge of Remembrance, originally built as a monument to the people who lost their lives fighting in World War I, but also updated with various plaques for other wars and the 2011 earthquake. We also visited the provisional church, a cathedral made from cardboard so that the Christians in Christchurch could have a place to worship after their building was heavily damaged during the 2011 earthquake. The primary goal of the first weekend was to acclimatize to the new environment so that we could be ready to go for the intensive short course that will begin on Monday. In the spirit of the casual way people in New Zealand greet each other, we will be referring to each other in this blog using our given names rather than our family names. Even prestigious professors here are addressed by their students in this manner.



Ayaka’s first impressions


I woke up at 9 o’clock. I ate pancakes and blueberries for breakfast. I ate an omelette, some bread, a small apple and a cookie for lunch outside.


I went to a big park with my host mother and dog and Hana on foot. There was a cricket game, I saw it for the first time. We played on a zip line, it was very fun. When we got home, we talked to the homestay family’s neighbor and met his dog.


I went to Lincoln University by car to see the campus and also to Hana and Rena’s house for a short visit. I ate noodles like udon for dinner. After dinner, we gave our host mother some souvenirs. I was happy that she was pleased.



Yousuke’s first impressions


It’s Saturday. We arrived yesterday after a really long series of flights. There is a Chinese exchange student living with my host family, his name is Johnny and he and I became friends.


I woke up at 8a.m. After sleeping well last night. I have been tired so I took it easy. I went to Lincoln University by bus with Johnny to practice the route, and he introduced the University. Riding the NZ bus is a little difficult because it’s my first time in NZ.


This photo is 8:30p.m. It was still so bright at night. I was very surprised and confused. This was my Saturday, the first full day in NZ.



Ikuho’s first impressions


Today was a very nice day and we had valuable weekend.


This morning, I ate pancakes made by my host father “Ben”. I tried bacon and maple syrup on the pancake recommended by Ben. That’s so delicious. Of course, the food culture is different from Japan but I noticed that there is a different way of eating in Japan, too. It’s interesting for me. I want to eat it this way in Japan.

今朝は、ホストファザーの “ベン “が作ってくれたパンケーキを食べました。ベンさんお勧めのパンケーキに、ベーコンとメープルシロップをのせて食べてみました。それがとてもおいしいんです。もちろん、日本とは食文化が違いますが、日本とは違う食べ方もあるんだなぁと思いました。私にとっては興味深いことです。日本でもこんな風に食べてみたいです。

Hikari and I were taken shopping by our host family. I found many clothes related to Japanese anime. For example: “Attack on Titan”, ”Demon Slayer”, and ”Sailer moon” etc. I felt that Japanese anime is popular in New Zealand, too.


We ate beef hamburgers at a restaurant. I haven’t yet noticed the difference between NZ and Japanese beef. Another interesting point was that this store has a “surcharge” for credit cards. At first, I didn’t understand, however, I learned that it that is another example of different culture from Japan.


I think I’m getting along with the host family’s children little by little. When we went to the top floor, there was signboard with legends and the history of Māori and New Zealand written on it. My host mother read it to her children and I listened to her voice so I could learn about Māori too.


Similar to Japan, New Zealand was made from volcanos. And I found manuka honey.  Ben said, “It’s too expensive”. Today is 30 degrees, very hot day. So we went to the beach. There are many surfers on the beach because the sea has big waves after the Cyclone that came to New Zealand a few days ago. And we played on a trampoline.

ニュージーランドは、日本と同じように火山が多いです。 私はマヌカハニーを見つけました。 ベンは「それはすごく高いよ」と言いました。今日は気温が30度で、とても暑いです。ですので、私たちはビーチに行きました。数日前にニュージーランドに来たサイクロンの影響で、海は大きな波が立っていたので、ビーチにはたくさんのサーファーがいました。そして、トランポリンで遊びました。


Hikari’s first impressions


We got up around 9am and ate pancakes made by our host parents, Katie and Ben. Fruits, bacon, and various sauces were prepared, and it was delicious to eat in various combinations.


For lunch, we had a hamburger at the mall and chocolate cake and carrot cake for dessert. It was very delicious. After lunch, we went to the gondola which is famous in Christchurch. The gondola climbs steeply, so soon you can see the city of Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains below. It was such a spectacular view.


In addition, I was able to learn about the history of Maui and the star called Southern Cross in the southern hemisphere, and I was able to enjoy the history of New Zealand through sounds and images on an attraction called the Time Tunnel.


After going to the gondola, they took us to the beach. The sea was very clear and beautiful. The two children, phoebe and piper, were very happy and excited. We also enjoyed soaking our feet in the sea water and drawing on the beach.


After playing a lot, we went home and got to interact with the two children by playing on a trampoline and playing with dolls until dinner was ready. Both of them were bright and friendly, and above all, they were very cute and healing.


After playing with the children, dinner was ready. My father, Ben, was outside grilling and cooking chicken for me. Today’s dinner was couscous, a rice-like dish made from coarsely ground durum wheat flour, which was seasoned with curry along with chicken, salad, and corn. It was very delicious with a novel feeling that you don’t often eat in Japan. Also, I was able to have a meal while enjoying various conversations with my host family.



Days 3: Becoming NZ University Students



Ian’s note


On Monday, the students started their short-course program. Basically in the mornings they will be studying English with Dr. George Horvath and then attending first year economics and agribusiness lectures in the afternoon. Monday was filled with various orientation tasks and the beginning of the English classes. One of the first topics they encountered was the shortage of eggs and the resulting inflation from it.



Hana’s impressions of the University


Today is school for the first time. I went to school by bus. Ayaka was already on the bus when it arrived at my stop. The school was getting closer and we were talking about who would press the button or if the bus would stop if we didn’t press it. Then another Japanese exchange student next to me said, “it will definitely stop.”

今日は初めての学校です。バスで登校しました。バス停にバスが到着した時、彩香はもうバスに乗っていました。学校が近づいてきて、誰がボタンを押すのか、押さないとバスは止まらないのか、そんな話をしていました。すると、私の隣にいた別の日本人留学生が”絶対止まるよ “と言っていました。

The campus is very large, the Buildings are made of bricks, and I noticed that there were many Asian students. In the first English class, I studied listening. It was a little difficult for me to follow what the teacher said, I could understand the words I already knew, but I couldn’t keep up with the speed. I want to do my best tomorrow.


My host family made me a lunch box. It contained apples and peaches.  I was surprised.


After we finished, we all went to a nearby supermarket. There were few eggs as we learned today, and was expensive. I noted that there was a lot of wine. I was looking for Japanese wines, but I couldn’t find any. Everyone enjoyed shopping. Finally, I chose and ate ice cream that can’t be found in Japan.



Rena’s impressions of the University


I woke up at 6:45. And I ate serial and toast for breakfast. Hana and I took the 8:14 bus to Lincoln University. We were taken around the school on a tour with our main English instructor, Dr George Harvath.

6時45分に目が覚めて、朝食にシリアルとトーストを食べました。波奈と私は、8時14分発のバスでリンカーン大学に向かいました。英語授業の講師であるDr George Harvathの案内で校内を見学しました。

I ate sandwich for lunch.


I had a listening class in the afternoon.


After class, we all walked to the supermarket. We ate ice cream.



Day 4 Agribusiness begins

4日目: アグリビジネスが始まる


Hosaki’s note


Today I joined a first-year agribusiness program lecture “Economies and Markets” with Fukuyama students. This lecture can be considered as a beginner’s class for Economics student. Many students are enrolled in this course so the room was very crowded. I noticed that all students brought a laptop instead of notebooks or textbooks and many students were typing hard, taking detailed notes, which is quite different from classes in Japan. The lecturer used an online tool called Mentimeter ( www.mentimeter.com ), which is a kind of questionnaire or quiz web site to help students understand the material, so I’m very interested in learning how to use it in my own classes. I feel this is one of the most valuable things that we can achieve during this week — learning how other universities do things and how we can bring that knowledge back to Fukuyama University. One other note: the duration of one class is less than one hour, I feel it is short but I wonder if students feel cozy and better able to concentrate for the full class. Each lecture is held several times per week for 50 minutes rather than our system of once per week for 90 minutes.

今日は、アグリビジネスプログラム1年生の講義「経済と市場」に、福山大学の学生たちと参加しました。この講義は、経済学部の学生にとっては初級の授業と言えるでしょう。多くの学生が受講しているため、教室はとても混雑していました。ノートや教科書の代わりにノートパソコンを持参し、多くの学生が一生懸命にタイピングしている姿は、日本の授業とは全く違うものでした。講師が使っていたMentimeter( www.mentimeter.com)というオンラインツールは、生徒の理解を助けるためのアンケートやクイズのようなWebサイトで、自分の授業でどう使えるか、とても興味深かったです。他の大学のやり方を学び、その知識を福山大学に持ち帰ることができるというのは、この1週間で達成できる最も価値のあることだと思いました。もうひとつ、1回の授業時間が1時間弱というのは短いとは思いますが、学生は居心地がよくて、授業に集中できるのではないかと思いました。ここでの講義は、週1回90分という我々のシステムではなく、週数回50分という形で行われています。


Ayaka and Aya’s impressions of the first agribusiness lecture day


 We went to school before noon and reviewed about international trade from Sano for lecture. There was a Red Bull car giving free Red Bull, so we tried to get some, but we couldn’t because we didn’t quite understand the online signup process.


We ate lunch at a table on the grass. It was very fun.


For the afternoon class, we decided on the seating arrangement by “Ghost Leg” lottery. (あみだくじ)


We had George’s class talking about the “world egg shortage”. We are learning this topic while studying the English skills of Reading, Listening and Speaking. Today was Listening, it was really difficult, George speaks very quickly. But according to Bisset, this is good training for us.

ジョージのクラスで「世界の卵不足」について学びました。私たちはこのトピックについて、Reading, Listening, Speakingという英語のスキルを勉強しながら学んでいます。今日はListeningでしたが、ジョージはとても早く話すので、とても難しかったです。でも、Bisset先生によると、これが私たちにとって良いトレーニングになります。

Then we joined a lecture by Alan about economics with about 200 Lincoln undergraduates. There were so many local students so I could feel the real student atmosphere. All of them have their own laptop and type what the professor said.  We used pen and paper. It is different. The professor used a ppt and video, so it is similar to Japan. In the class, the language was very difficult. So, we could understand just a little. We could catch some words such as scarcity, opportunity cost and globalization. He explained that scarcity is that the resources available to satisfy those wants are limited. We want to understand all, so we will do our best to learn more English.


After the lecture, we had a review about the class and lecture. We shared what we learned. We went to NEW WORLD (the local supermarket) and I bought gummies. I could successfully explain to the clerk about how I wanted my purchase of gummies and dried fruit divided into two bags so I felt like I accomplished something. The gummies were delicious.

講義の後、授業や講義について復習し、学んだことを共有しました。NEW WORLD(地元のスーパーマーケット)に行き、グミを買いました。購入したグミとドライフルーツを2つの袋に分けて欲しいということを店員にうまく説明することができて、何か達成感を感じました。グミはおいしかったです。