Funabashi students arrive at East Bay



By Madeline Ramirez, CONTRIBUTOR

What is it that draws foreign students to come to Hayward, California specifically? For the new Funabashi Group, it is the opportunity of receiving a scholarship to come here and see what life is like at California State University, East Bay.
The Funabashi group are young students from Funabashi City, Japan. Student Services Coordinator, Cheryl Tan, explained that the Funabashi City is the sister city of Hayward, California. Along with two other cities, Odense, Denmark, and Xi’an, China, these students are allowed to receive a scholarship in visiting Funabashi’s sister cities and get the chance to stay with host families.
“Here in that East Bay, it’s very fast pace and similar to the city life in Japan, ” Funabashi group student Hana Torimitsu said.
Students Hana Torimitsu and Ayane Arita are two students that got paired to live with the same host family.
“The Hurst family is very kind. We go to the park and music festivals, it makes us feel better because we are nervous to be here but they make it better for us,” Torimitsu said.
It was not until last year that Funabashi City had reached out to Hayward to orchestrate such a tremendous opportunity hosted by CSUEB.
“For the longest time, Funabashi had reached out the city of Hayward to plan sending their students — one day for two hours was not enough,” Tan said. “With funds handled in Funabashi City, CSUEB was more than happy to host scholar students to let them see what they can enjoy here.”
Tan said that the students come in the morning with a structured agenda that they follow from 9 am to 5 pm that ranges from a classroom setting to site-seeing in the Bay Area.
“Going through next summer, there will be more students in attendance,” Tan said.
She also hopes that there will soon be a program where locals and foreign students can come together and guide one another in their own cultures.