They’re Here!

Posted on March 11th, by Joni Montgomery in Trading Cultures. 1 Comment

Japan Map

We all hate how short break is, but I was filled with anticipation and excitement about coming back to school this spring. Last Sunday kicked off my participation in the Rakuno Gakuen University Veterinary School Student Exchange Program! In May, there are six Findlay students, myself included, going to Rakuno Gakuen University in Hokkaido, Japan. In exchange, three veterinary students from Rakuno Gakuen University have come to visit Findlay. Hitomi (a senior), Junya (a junior), and Aimi (a sophomore) touched American soil last Friday. They will be staying here for three weeks attending animal science classes and learning how we view and treat animals here in the United States.

Hitomi, me, Aimi, & Junya.

Hitomi, me, Aimi, & Junya.

The zoo crew with Dr. Becky Lauer (on far left).

The zoo crew with Becky Lauer, D.V.M. (far left).

When we met for the first time, we quickly hit it off. Although we live oceans apart and come from completely different worlds – we have the similar interests and goals in life. During these next three weeks, I’ll be helping them experience my world. On Sunday, we visited the Cleveland Zoo together. Our contact there, Becky Lauer, D.V.M. (UF ’10), is a graduate of  The University of Findlay and the Rakuno Gakuen University Student Exchange Program. She is now a practicing veterinarian at the Cleveland Zoo. We followed her and toured the zoo behind those mysterious doors—the ones that say “Authorized Personnel Only.” We had the opportunity to tour the vet hospital, meet and talk to veterinarians, zookeepers, and researchers and even pet a rhino! (In case you wondered, they do not feel like metal armor, but like a car tire.)

At 9:00 a.m. Monday morning, I was sitting in Dr. Fell’s office with Hitomi, Junya, Aimi, and Grace (another student from Findlay participating in the program). They were nervous to meet the president of our university, but they presented themselves like pros! After we met with Dr. Fell, I gave them a two mile tour of campus. Yes, I know that we have a small campus, but I made sure they saw everything! When vet schools say that their students are tough, they aren’t joking. Hitomi and Aimi were in high heels the whole tour. Walking two miles in heels – now that is what I call tough! In the life of an exchange student, everything occurs according to a busy schedule. When I left them on Monday, they were really just beginning their day. The typical day of a Rakuno Gakuen exchange student visiting Findlay begins at 6:30 a.m. and ends after the sun goes down.

Presenting Dr. Fell with a gift.

Presenting Dr. Fell with a gift.

Japan’s veterinary program is very different than the one we have here in the United States. Here, we have four years of undergrad as pre-vet students and then four additional years in graduate school studying to become a veterinarian. In Japan, they study six years to become full-fledged veterinarians and they are in the veterinary program from the first year – much like our pharmacy school. Their class schedule is also very different than ours. I was talking to Junya about his weekly schedule and found out that his classes usually meet only once a week for one hour and they have about three to four classes in a day. Because of this, they are in many different classes all at once and have several exams and assignments to juggle. Junya told me that he once had eleven exams, in eleven different classes, all in one week!

I hope that you will continue to follow me through my adventures and be sure to tell Hitomi, Junya and Aimi, hello (or Konnichiwa) if you see them around campus!

One thought on “They’re Here!

  1. Thanks for sharing the differences in the two schools. Love to hear about what is happening in your life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

From the Blog

Wondering what it's really like to be at The University of Findlay? Follow our bloggers and read—and sometimes listen and watch—their experiences. Real Oilers. Real stories. Real life.

Homestays and new experiences

So far on our journey, we have encountered so many kind people and even made some great new friends. The professors at the University...

Why Fukui?

You may find yourself wondering why we traveled to Japan. To put it simply, Kat and I wholeheartedly believe traveling and immersing yourself in...

Seeing the Sights and Settling In

The first three days of our trip were spent traveling Osaka, a great place for sightseeing here in Japan. We were able to see...

Sleepless in Osaka

A few days ago, we were scheduled to leave for Japan with Dr. Alison Baer and her husband Paul.  If you saw two girls...

Ready to Go!

Hello, Kat Slate and Julia Smith here! We are education majors setting out to teach children, not only here, but all over the world.


Dear Findlay: A Letter to Everyone I’ve Known the Past 4 Years

Dear Findlay (and everyone affiliated),

August 2014, was the beginning of my senior year of high school. For most of my classmates, that meant preparing...

Use Your Words

For my last blog post of the academic year (I’ll be back this fall), I thought I’d provide some educational value to your valuable...

The Senioritis Struggle (or lack thereof): Part 2

Senioritis: sen·ior·i·tis: noun humorous: A supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation...

Freshman Year Lessons: An End of the Year Reflection

Looking back on my freshman year at Findlay, I have learned so much. It would be almost impossible to write about how many lessons...

To a New Beginning!

So, it’s almost the end of this semester! Almost the end of me being a freshman! They say time flies. It does.

There are so...

Surviving the End of the Semester: Tips & Tricks

The last few weeks of the semester are always the hardest. Suddenly, everything that you put off because “It isn’t due until the end...

Mazza Museum – Get the Picture!

It’s hard to believe, but not everyone who goes to UF has been to one of my favorite spots on campus: the Mazza Museum. It...

Passionate Students + Humble Leadership + Above & Beyond Mentality = @TheOiler10

On August 19, 2016, Professor Scott Grant, Ed.D., gathered 10 students (including myself) together in Old Main, Room 203. Barely any of us knew...

My Kind of Spring Break

If you are a follower of UFindlay Instagram or my Instagram profile, you may have seen that I had the great opportunity to be...

Let’s Celebrate More Birthdays

More than likely, someone in your life or someone you know has been affected by cancer.

In 2008, when I was just 10 years old,...