LBCC Opens Doors to Japan for Dual Enrollment Student

Article LBCC News
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Wilson High School junior Lucas Dysart knew he wanted to study Japanese, but his high school doesn’t offer it. So he enrolled at Long Beach City College. The 17-year-old never dreamed the LBCC class would lead to a two-week, all-expenses-paid trip to Japan.

On June 24, Dysart will travel to Tokyo as one of 20 high school students chosen from hundreds of applicants representing Southern California on the Tomodachi MUFG International Student Exchange Program.

I applied because I think it’s important to have an understanding of the whole world and a more open mind to other cultures and other people.

Japanese Professor Yukiko Tsuboi was delighted to have a strong candidate for the exchange program, which is specifically for high school students. Making this connection is a great example of the many benefits LBCC has to offer high school students, she said.

“Many high school students don’t know they can take college courses at LBCC while they are still in high school,” she said.

Through LBCC’s dual enrollment program, eligible high school students can take advanced academic or vocational classes. Enrollment fees are waived for those approved for the program.

In addition to Tokyo, the two-week exchange will take Dysart’s group across the island of Honshu to Sendai, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. Highlights include spending two days with a family, traveling on the bullet train, participating in a forest restoration project, visiting historic sites and temples, meeting Japanese high school students and visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

The exchange program is part of the Tomodachi Initiative developed in the wake of the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The initiative invests in the next generation of Japanese and Americans to strengthen cultural and economic ties and deepen the friendship between the two nations into the future.

In the fall, Dysart will continue his Japanese studies at LBCC where he’s laying the groundwork for returning to Japan.