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Three Queen's students headed to Japan for cultural forum

By Wanda Praamsma, Communications Officer

Queen's in the World

Political studies student Cory Bentley (Artsci’14) has had a thing for Japan ever since he was a small boy, when he became intrigued by anime, just like his older brother. His fascination with the language, cuisine and culture has been building ever since, and over the course of his undergraduate career, he’s managed to visit the country twice and will visit a third time in February to participate in the Japan-Canada Academic Consortium (JACAC) forum.

“The country has held a longstanding interest for me, somewhere I always go back to,” says Mr. Bentley. “There are so many things I enjoy about the country but I’m especially interested in its cultural focus on the collective rather than the individual, and its investment in infrastructure, particularly public transit.”

Mr. Bentley first visited Japan two years ago to attend a conference with the United Church of Canada, and then again with the Cross-Cultural College, a program that Queen’s offers in partnership with Kwansei Gakuin University in Nishinomiya, near Osaka. In February, he’ll spend a week in Tokyo, along with two other Queen’s students, for the JACAC forum, being held at Meiji University.

Political studies student Cory Bentley, left, shown during his first visit to Japan in 2011.

The annual JACAC forum, now in its third year, is held alternately each year in Japan and Canada at one of the JACAC’s member institutions. The program is designed to bring senior undergraduate students from institutions in both countries together to exchange ideas about a common topic of interest, with this year’s theme being “Toward a Sustainable Economic and Social Development: Challenges in Aging Society in Canada and Japan.”

The other two Queen’s students participating in the program are law student Meagan Berlin (Law’17) and Global Development Studies student Hasina Daya (Artsci’14).

“Queen’s is very pleased that three of our students have been selected to attend this forum in Japan,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “This is a wonderful opportunity for students to collaborate with, and learn from, students from another culture, and to bring back their experience and knowledge to Queen’s.”

Mr. Bentley says he’s really looking forward to the chance to go back to Japan and deepen some of the connections he’s already made with the people and culture. He’s also crossing his fingers that next year he’ll be once again on his way to the island nation, to teach English through the JET Programme, something he’s wanted to do since he was 12 years old.

More on the JACAC forum