KADENA AIR BASE, Japan –
A group of 16 students from the Nikkei College of Business in Okinawa City are participating in a five-day English immersion program here Nov. 14 through 20.
The visit marked the fourth time Kadena has hosted the Nikkei College of Business and the program was designed to provide the students with an opportunity to communicate in English, learn about American culture and experience American-style business. It was also an opportunity for Air Force members to interact with local students and show what the Air Force does during the facility tour.
"I believe that this is a good program for them," said Master Sgt. Renee Oliviel, who coordinated the student's tour of the 18th Medical Operations Squadron mental health flight. "The students benefit from learning English and having an insight into the various organizations that comprise an Air Force installation."
"I would like the students to not only learn or have better conversational English skills but to also understand that there are many different components to the Air Force," she added.
During their visit, students learned about the medical facilities, air traffic control tower, fire department and F-15C Eagle fighter jets. They also received a tour of the 31st Rescue Squadron radar facility and the Marshall Dining Facility.
The students were split into groups of three or four with two 18th Wing volunteers in each group and toured different aspects of the base English conversation classes were also provided.
"The program is also good opportunity for our Airmen," said Tech. Sgt. Jessie Bishop, 18th Security Forces Squadron response force leader. "It gives the Airmen a chance to work on their professional communication skills and in doing so they also improve relationships with our host nation."
Bishop was the sponsor of the 18th SFS and he also attended as a volunteer for the English conversation class.
"Usually, we don't have this kind of opportunities to visit U.S. military base to see what they do and communicate with them," said Suzuka Gima, Nikkei College of Business student. "I hope that it will continue this program for the younger generation."
"I want to take advantage of this experience in studying abroad in Australia in February," said Gima. "If i don't struggle to communication, I want to challenge various things using English."