In an increasingly interconnected world, fostering cultural exchange and understanding among diverse communities is extremely important. Recently, students from Madison Elementary School received a special visit from OPIE students from the Ohio University and Chubu University academic exchange agreement.
OPIE is the Ohio Program of Intensive English, located on the campus of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. OPIE began offering classes in 1967 and is one of the leading English language programs in the United States. Students come from all over the world to improve their English, prepare for academic study, and learn about U.S. culture. Current students in the OPIE program are from Chubu University in Kasugai, Japan.
The students from Chubu University recently visited Madison Elementary School, where they engaged in an educational and culturally enriching experience. Madison students learned about Japanese elementary school life, practiced Japanese phrases and numbers, and made origami figures.
The visit to Madison Elementary School was more than just a cultural exchange; it was an extraordinary visit, as Madison Elementary Intervention Specialist Kristin Krzic has close ties to the OPIE program.
Miss Krzic’s father, Dr. Gerard Krzic, is the Director of OPIE at Ohio University. Dr. Krzic was an English professor at Chubu University in Japan from 1982 to 1985, and he and his wife, Assistant Professor Jounge Hee Krzic, have worked hard to foster the Ohio University and Chubu University relationship. The Krzic’s have supported more than 1,700 international students at Ohio University. This year is the 50th anniversary of the academic exchange agreement, and recently, Chubu University in Japan opened the “Krzic Lounge” to recognize the Krzic family and their work.
“Visiting Madison Elementary was really fun, and the students were very kind,” says Chubu University student Shizuki Aonuma. “I especially liked to see the Madison students enjoying origami and was happy to teach them how to fold origami. When I was leaving the building, the students made sure to tell me “Arigato” (thank you) and “Sayonara” (goodbye). I’m so impressed they remembered the Japanese phrases I taught them! I would love to visit again in the future!”
The collaboration between Chubu University, Ohio University, and now Madison Elementary School exemplifies the importance of sharing cultural heritage and embracing the culture of others. These students created lasting memories and valuable life lessons. These experiences will undoubtedly shape their perspectives as they grow into global citizens.