International exchange

For the past 13 years, nursing students from Osaka, Japan have visited EC in an effort to learn about industry and technology, just as they did on Tuesday.

Forty-two students spent their day at EC learning about the EMT program, taking a tour of the campus, and enjoying a scavenger hunt, Daniel N. Shrader, associate dean of industry and technology, said.

“Thirteen years later and it (the program) is just as strong as it ever was,” Ron Way, dean emeritus, said. “The partnership between El Camino and the nursing school is just awesome.”

Shrader said the event was started by Way. “I was there kind of from the beginning,” Way added.

The Japanese students are from IS Nursing College in Osaka, Shrader said.

Shrader said the nursing students from Japan interacted with students, faculty, and staff during their time on campus.

“We have been dealing with this particular school for as long as I’ve known. It’s an annual event,” Shrader said. “They will be learning about us. Similarly, we are going to learn about them.”

The program “gives our fire tech, EMT, and our nursing department international recognition,” he added.

Max Kimura, former newscaster, is responsible for the bond between EC and IS Nursing College. He “went into bridging gaps between schools,” Shrader said.

“The leadership at our school helped Max make contacts. He was scouting and selected 10 colleges. He said EC was the best and most suited of the ones he saw,” Shrader said. “In addition, Max wants to give students from Japan a new experience and something they’re not familiar with.”

Last week, the students spent two days on Santa Catalina Island camping and exploring the island before coming to EC, Shrader said.

“Their (the program’s) goal is to create an international familiarity,” Shrader said.

Although the event has been going on for many years, this is the first year the scavenger hunt is being added in. The hunt gives the students a view of the campus, Shrader said.

“It’s good to have a cultural exchange when we can,” Stephanie Rodriguez, dean of industry and technology, said, “because we never know where our students are going to end up working or where their students will.”

Way had the opportunity to visit the IS Nursing College in Osaka and spoke at their inauguration. He explained the students there celebrate getting into the nursing program, not when they graduate, as they do in the U.S.

He asked someone at the ceremonies why this was, and they said not everyone gets into the program and because “everyone graduates. Why celebrate that?”

In the past, the visits have been “enlightening, educational, and informative,” Way said. “It turned out to be a great opportunity for the Japan students and students at El Camino.”

“I think it’s all about benefitting the students – whether it’s our partner college in Japan or our students,” Shrader said.