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Central Washington University

CWU welcomes summer visitors, students from Japan to Ellensburg

Exchange students visit Tamamura Rose Garden at CWUTamamura, Japan is situated about 64 miles northeast of Tokyo. The small town, of roughly 37,000 residents, has a long-standing relationship with Central Washington University.

That relationship continues as 20 students from Tamamura and Minami junior high school have come to Ellensburg to see CWU, visit other community locations, and participate in various events.

“They’re accompanied by some of their junior high teachers and administrators, and other officials from the city government,” explains Sherri Fujita, CWU director of University English as a Second Language Program. “For the students, it was their first time abroad for most of them, so we’ve wanted to give them a taste of what it’s really like to study here. I also brought in three Japanese students, who are in my [UESL] program right now, to interact with them, so they could see a role model.”

In honor of international friendship, several years ago some of the exchange students and their families from the prefecture donated flowers for the Tamamura Rose Garden in front of Bouillon Hall.

“They clearly have an interest in maintaining a relationship with Central,” Fujita notes, adding the hope is that some of these students will eventually enroll and pursue their college degrees at CWU.

Fujita points out that CWU already enrolls students annually from Gunma Prefectural Women’s University, which is also located in Tamamura, acknowledging that, “They’ve been great students.”

In addition, 36 other visiting students from the University of Shimane Junior College and the University of Shimane will remain on the CWU campus through Saturday, August 26. Accompanied by two faculty members, they’ve come to Ellensburg primarily to study English and learn about—and experience—American culture, Fujita says.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,

Photos: The Tamamura students and group members visit, and pose for a picture, near the Tamamura Rose Garden on the CWU campus.

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