Benham to meet with Japanese universities on student exchange programs

Scene from Spring 2017 Professional Development Day

Chancellor Benham

UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Maenette Benham will travel to Japan in June to explore potential partnerships with universities as part of a trip organized by TeamUp, a campaign to foster student exchange between the United States and Japan.

Benham will be one of five university administrators on the familiarization trip, during which the travelers will visit Tokyo, Osaka, Okayama, and Sendai to explore partnership opportunities with Japanese universities and colleges. Participants are expected to develop at least one relationship with a Japanese school during the trip, which is scheduled from June 19 to 28.  

The TeamUp is a campaign funded by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and facilitated by the United States-Japan Bridging Foundation to increase the number of exchange students studying in each otherʻs countries. University of Hawaiʻi Maui College participated in a 2016 tour and entered into partnership within months of completing the trip, according to a TeamUp report.

“The TeamedUp Familiarization Tour enabled faster, deeper connections on both sides. Typically, partnerships require many meetings, trips and sometimes years to establish,” the TeamUp report said. “Within two months, Maui College signed an MOU with the University of the Ryukyus.”

UH West Oʻahu is looking to expand international opportunities for students looking to study abroad as its enrollment rolls. UH West Oʻahu currently offers students learning opportunities at Tokai University – Sapporo (5-week language and culture program in Sapporo, Japan), Tongmyong University (16-week language and culture program in Busan, South Korea) and Incheon National University (4-week international summer studies program in Incheon, South Korea).

According to TeamUp, four other administrators will join Benham on the tour and include Torian Lee, director of Xavier University of Louisianaʻs Center for Intercultural and International Programs; Vanessa Tatiana Makliff, executive director of Miami Dade College’s Office of International Education; Radecka Appiah-Padi of Harrisburg Area Community College; and Gerda Reeb, Flathead Valley Community College’s director of international student services.

Image courtesy of UHWO Staff