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Japanese students to participate in study abroad program at ACU

For immediate release
June 29, 2005

Fourteen juniors from Ibaraki Christian High School in Ibaraki, Japan, will be participating in a three week study abroad program conducted by Abilene Christian University's Institute of Intensive English July 8-30.

The program includes classes in English conversation, American culture and a computer word processing class similar in curriculum to an English composition class.

Two sponsors will be accompanying the group living in the University Park Apartments on ACU's campus as they attend classes and participate in planned activities.

"On evenings and weekends they will have a full social schedule.  American students, typically from ACU, will become tutors to them, like camp counselors," said Jeff Haseltine, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "They'll hang out and do things around town like miniature golf, Mr. Gatti's, Buffalo Gap Historical Village, Frontier Texas and maybe horseback riding."

All the students become very good friends and at the conclusion of the program there is a banquet with "lots of crying and lots of pictures," Haseltine said. 

The program started with students from Ibaraki Christian College and a few years later grew to include high school students. Currently, the high school program, now in its tenth year, has taken over the college program.

"The Ibaraki Christian High School program, in particular, was conceived as an opportunity to expose Japanese students to a Christian education setting as well as a chance to try to introduce some of them to ACU," said Haseltine. "This is, of course, in addition to the main purpose of the program, which is to give the students a first-hand look at the United States and our culture and to give them a chance to improve their English speaking abilities."

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