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Technos International Event Student Reports
The prestigious annual Technos International event sees four undergraduate students in their second year spend two weeks in Japan. The trip aims to promote international exchange and understanding between students of Pembroke and Technos International Colleges, as well as to offer opportunities to experience Japanese culture.Read our 2016 Technos trip reports below.
HARRIET LONEY (Medicine)
'I learned a lot from the trip and it’s hard to put what I got out of the experience into words. One of my favourite trips was a visit to Mt. Fuji in Honshu Island. On the bus trip we were each sat next to a Technos student, which I found very challenging with my little knowledge of the Japanese language and my partner's limited ability to speak English. We began to pick up words from each other. One of my favourites was ‘oishii’ which means delicious, a word we picked up on as we shared some Japanese candy.'
'After a few hours everyone on the bus turned to face to the left and the sight of Mt. Fuji in the distance is something I will never forget. At 3,776.24 m the mountain peeked out from the clouds and was mesmerising. We later visited the 5th station which is the highest point you can reach by bus. For about a minute the dense clouds separated and the peak of the mountain became visible.'
DOMINIC SAAD (Medicine)
'Never in my life have I experienced such varied culture, hospitality or sheer wonder as I did on my two-week visit to the college in June 2016... I felt excited, and I absolutely felt nervous, but nothing compared with the feeling that all of a sudden, I was about to be introduced to hundreds of people who wanted to know what life was like in England and what music I liked and what my favourite Japanese food was – and I was so excited when it clicked that in return, in the next few weeks I could find out anything and everything about living in Japan and these students and their lives.'
'Another moment that is particularly memorable has to be the afternoon when we tried nagashi somen. Nagashi somen translates as “flowing noodles”, and is appropriately named: we set up a large bamboo pipe elevated above the Technos courtyard, got some water running down it, and dropped in little nests of noodles at the top (along with sliced vegetables) for those standing at the sides to catch with their chopsticks and eat as the noodles shot past in the flow. This slightly bizarre tradition proved equal parts delicious and hilarious.'
JAMIE ENGINEER (English)
'Tokyo is one of the most varied places I have ever visited. The districts range from the municipal centre (from which some great views can be experienced) to traditional, residential areas of small detached houses, and neon-beaming food and shopping districts. That said, you’re never too far from one of Tokyo’s countless and peaceful Shinto shrines should you want to temporarily escape the bustling streets.'
'Even more rewarding than all of this though was getting to know the students of Technos College that were our guides (and fantastic guides at that). We all made great friends, took part in their classes, and learnt all about the lives of our parallel peers from the other side of the globe. I learnt infinitely more about the real, modern Japan by talking candidly and late at night with a first-generation, Filipino Technos graduate who was starting his career in hospitality than I did from any information board or museum.'
LYDIE SHEEHAN (Arabic & Islamic Studies)
'It had long been a dream of mine to visit Japan; I had studied Japanese in secondary school and had corresponded with Japanese family friends for my entire life, as my mother had lived there for some years before I was born. '
'Our tour guide, Sho, taught us a Japanese word that has no exact equivalent in English: “omotenashi” (おもてなし). The word is a noun that relates to the entertaining of guests wholeheartedly, being considerate of their needs and wishes, and welcoming them with deep humility. This notion, I believe, sums up our experience in Japan better than any other words could.'
'When I moved back into Pembroke this term I brought with me cards and letters from some of the people I grew close to during the trip; over the summer I corresponded back and forth not only with Technos students, but also with Lara and Jocelyn, two of the Taiwanese students who had come from the China University of Science and Technology.'