Langara’s relationship with Takushoku University is one of the longest Japanese-Canadian educational partnerships in the country. The program was established in 1978, when the college – a provincial leader in short-term English language programs – established a relationship with Takushoku, whose staff were seeking to create its first study abroad program for their students.
Since its inception, the Canadian School of Takudai has given close to 1000 Japanese students the opportunity to take English language instruction and cross-cultural communication courses at Langara, and to learn about Canadian culture while living with local host families.
In the early years, the program was cohort-based with a closed-program design. Today, Takudai students are integrated into the LEAP (Langara English for Academic Preparation) program in which they study with classmates from many different countries. The Takudai students also participate in a twice-weekly class on cross-cultural communication that allows them to meet as a group to discuss and better understand their Canadian, multi-cultural experience.
In addition to the workshops and activities organized for all students in the LEAP program, Langara also holds a few special celebrations for the Takadai students. These include a Halloween party, a Christmas celebration, the Seijin Shiki Coming of Age Ceremony, and a closing ceremony. It also holds a tree-planting ceremony in which college officials, a Takushoku representative and the students plant a tree and place a plaque –both donated to the college by the students – that commemorates the students’ time at Langara. To date, over 30 trees have been planted on the campus and returning Takudai students often visit their trees to see how much they have grown and to remember their special days in Canada.
In the fall of 2018, Langara and Takushoku officials, students, host families and others will hold a special ceremony to celebrate the 40th year anniversary of the program. The event will serve to strengthen the friendship between the two institutions that will help ensure that the program will carry on long into the future.
Read more about Langara College’s international education here.