Thoughts from a Former Student

Posted on April 22, 2006 | evankirby

Vladimir Rizikov, a student who studied with us last winter from Baruch College, City University of New York, wrote a very nice article about his experience for his college newspaper (The Ticker), which we were pleased to receive a copy of recently. Our cheeks are still red from blushing, but we'd like to take the opportunity to reprint a few choice quotes:

"[GenkiJACS] has an excellent reputation for its academics, teachers and cordial homestay families."
"I was able to not only further my education in Japanese but also had the ability to practice it daily while it was still fresh in my mind."
"I also had the privilege of living with a very accommodating, friendly and loving Japanese family as part of the school program. I took some culture classes in Kimono (traditional Japanese clothing), toge (pottery), chanoyu (tea ceremoy), and shodo (calligraphy) as well as participated in many field trips throughout Fukuoka."
"I cannot help but stress the importance to other students of this outstanding academic learning process and the joy of my experiences. I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to give it a try while they have a chance."

This student was able to receive academic credit at Baruch for his study with us, and we are always happy to work with other universities to achieve the same goal. Contact us with any special requests!

GenkiJACS' first "goukon"

Posted on April 16, 2006 | evankirby

Goukon

Today's topic is the "goukon" (or gokon, or gookon), a modern-traditional Japanese dating party. "Goukon" is short for "Gouryuu Konpa". Gouryuu means to come together, or merge. Konpa is Japanese-English ("wasei eigo") for Companion Party.
Basically, a goukon is a slightly formalized way for young people to meet possible partners outside of their standard circle of friends. Usually, there are two "hosts", one female and one male. Each one invites a number of friends of the same sex as them. Generally, only the two hosts know each other in advance - everybody else is meeting for the first time.

GenkiJACS is moving!

Posted on April 11, 2006 | evankirby

It's confirmed, we will be moving from our current location to a new, much larger, and far fancier school location during the first week of May. Directions to the new location will be posted on our main website very soon. Check the Contact Info page for more details as they become available.
For those who know Fukuoka well, our new place is the Grand Building on Meiji-doori, the same building as the Nagino Tree relaxation spa, and ECC English school. In fact, we'll be on the second floor, right beside ECC. The building itself is here on Google Maps.
We don't expect to miss any classes during the move, but we do ask that you bear with us as we get everything organised, and hope that nobody gets lost finding the new place!

Nagasaki trip

Posted on April 10, 2006 | evankirby

We took a group of students down to Nagasaki this weekend. It's just a 2-hour drive, so we made it a day trip, leaving at 9am and getting back just before 8pm.
We stopped by the Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Memorial first. The museum is understandably a somber place, and an unforgettChinatownable experience, if a draining one. They keep a huge collection of artifacts from the day of the blast, as well as recorded testimonials from survivors, that are harrowing to see.
After that, we took one of Nagasaki's famous trams to Chinatown, for a lunch of the local specialty, champon. Nagasaki was the only open port in Japan for more than 200 years, the only place that was allowed to trade with the outside world, and as a result, has a large and thriving Chinatown, and long historic links with other nations, especially Holland.

Indoor snowboarding school trip!

Posted on April 08, 2006 | evankirby

Snowboarding toavina

A couple of weeks ago, GenkiJACS made our inaugural trip to the conveniently located indoor snowboarding arena Big Air, part of the Bayside Place complex in Hakata Bay. A few students and a few teachers, all beginners, took part in a 90-minute class designed to, well, designed to stop us from falling over and hurting ourselves, mostly. We learned slipping forwards, and zig-zagging. Unfortunately we didn't have time (or ability, to be honest) to learn going backwards, but at least that means there's something waiting for us next time we go. They have a coupon on their website (PDF link) that offers the full pack (equipment rental, entry to the arena, and a teacher for 90 minutes) for just 2,835 yen, instead of the normal 4,200 yen. Not too bad, eh? There's more photos in our gallery.