Osaka Jikei students demonstrated calligraphy as part of the cultural exchange element of their recent trip to CPTC.
Osaka Jikei students demonstrated calligraphy as part of the cultural exchange element of their recent trip to CPTC.

Culture Exchange and Learning Highlight Osaka Jikei Trip to CPTC

May 25, 2017

Continuing a more than 10-year international tradition, the Clover Park Technical College Medical Histology program hosted a group from Japan’s Osaka Jikei College last week for a three-day tour educational and cultural exchange tour.

A total of 45 students, two faculty members and four chaperones made the trip from Japan, continuing an exchange tradition between the colleges stretching back to 2005. While in the past the event has been exclusive to medical laboratory technician Osaka students, this time the tour included bioscience students as well.

“The purpose of the visit is to learn about differences and similarities of the works of MLT and Histology technicians between the United States and Japan, as well as cultural differences between the two countries,” CPTC International Education program specialist Yuko Chartraw said.

The group spent two days on campus, May 16 and May 18, and between the two days they toured labs in Seattle. Groups from Osaka Jikei come to CPTC in the fall and spring, and the CPTC Medical Histology and Medical Laboratory Technician programs alternate hosting honors. This trip was hosted by the Histology program.

“It was an amazing experience,” CPTC Medical Histology student Lacey Purciful said. “It was a great opportunity for both the Clover Park students as well as the Osaka students. It opened our eyes with culture exchanged and new friendships.”

The students from the two different schools participated in hands-on lab classes and a welcome luncheon on the first day. The final day included guest lectures, student lectures, lunch and a cultural exchange.

“They had an enthusiastic and prodigious cohort we will always remember,” CPTC Medical Histology student Louis Kao said. “Many of us in the states barely speak one language; it was so inspiring to see the Osaka students present in the English language so well!”

The cultural exchange serves as one of the final pieces of the trip and always includes an engaging theme. The theme for this trip was “Hollywood – Be a Star!” Part of the theming included decorations, a selfie station and interactive demonstrations. The CPTC students and faculty prepared a competitive obstacle course race featuring tricycles, eggs and Nerf guns, while the Osaka students demonstrated calligraphy, origami, a tea ceremony and more.

“The farewell cultural exchange was an event all of us will look back on fondly,” Kao said. “Our time together may have been brief, but the time we have spent together will last a lifetime. I know some of us exchanged contacts, and I hope we maintain lasting connections.”

To learn more about CPTC’s Medical Histology program, click here. To learn more about CPTC’s International Education Program, contact Yuko Chartraw at

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The theme for the trip was "Hollywood - Be a Star," including specially-themed decorations for the final events of the visit.
Students participated in an obstacle course race featuring tricycles, Nerf guns and much more during the cultural exchange event.