The International Studies program also participates in the TECHNOS INTERNATIONAL WEEK through which we send two freshman or sophomore students to Japan for two weeks each spring. The Technos International College of Tokyo sponsors the visit of groups from Bates, Carleton, Hobart and William Smith, Hope, McKendree Colleges and Illinois Wesleyan in addition to groups from New Zealand and England. The itinerary includes a four-day program at Technos International College, tours of the City of Tokyo, villages, country sides and a mountain resort. For more information contact the International Studies director, Marina Balina.

June 2012 Technos International Week

The 2012 Technos International Week participants were Professor Edgar Lehr (Biology) and students Bradley Gresik ('14), Audrey Ito ('14), Samantha Reiter ('15) and Rosa Rivera ('14).

"Before I left for Japan, I was told by many friends that the Japanese are extraordinary hosts. Honestly, I had no idea what this meant until we arrived. From the beginning on we felt very welcome in Tokyo, we were treated with kindness and attention that we felt like kings: everything was taken care of, and our needs and wishes were almost read from our minds. The colleagues and students from Technos College Tokyo are wonderful and extraordinary hosts! They express hospitality in a way I have not experienced elsewhere. I am extremely grateful for this invitation and their support in helping us to explore the Japanese culture, making me wish to return rather today than tomorrow."

– Edgar Lehr, faculty leader, 2012 Technos International Week

"If you are at all in doubt about applying to the Technos program, I have only this to say: You must do it! The Technos Program was one of the best experiences of my life. I had such an amazing time traveling in Japan, experiencing a new culture and language (not to mention subway system), and made some fantastic lifelong friends. Technos College proved to be the most incredible host imaginable. Between all of the tours, the three-day trip to the mountain resort, and all of the wonderful students, there was not a boring or dreary moment to be had. This experience has opened my eyes to so many wonderful possibilities, and I will never, ever forget how--despite not knowing a word of the language-- I felt incredibly welcome. Japan is now my second home."

- Samantha Reiter, ('15) student representative, 2012 Technos International Week

"A truly breathtaking and unforgettable experience where you'll not only immerse yourself in Japanese culture, but find many inspiring and amazing sights and people that you will, without a doubt, take with you forever. Watching all the people walking by, you'll wonder where they're going and you too will find yourself in a new and exciting place."

-Audrey Ito ('14) student representative 2012 Technos International Week

"There are certain moments in everyone's life that simply leave an impression so strong  that they manifest themselves in everything you do. For me, that moment was the Technos International Week. Without a doubt, my time in Japan taught me despite seemingly enormous language and cultural barriers, people are remarkably similar. Everyone wants to experience new encounters, share laughs with other, and ultimately enjoy life. Coming to learn that sentiment so far from home opened my mind in ways I thought never possible. Through that, Japan and its people began to take on a role of a "second home", one that I long to return to!"

-Bradley Gresik ('14) student representative 2012 Technos International Week

“For me, this trip really was a dream come true. The Technos students made me feel welcome and taught me so much. I still keep in contact with a few of them and hope to make a trip to visit them someday. As someone who had spent a long time reading about  and being interested in Japanese culture, this trip blew all my expectations out of the water. There is no way to describe this trip in a way that does it justice; it is something you just need to experiance"

-Rosa Rivera student representative 2012 Technos International Week


2012 Technos International Week Photos


Welcome ceremony (Brad is on the screen)


Welcome ceremony on the stage Audrey,
Brad, Rosa, Sam (l. to r.)

Rosa Rivera, Bradley Gresik, Edgar Lehr,
Audrey Ito, Samantha Reiter (l. to r.)


Akihabara - electric town - Tokyo

 technos2012cProf. Lehr giving a lecture

Technos students at Prof. Lehr's lecture

Opening ceremony where Technos and international students meet and mingle (l. to r. Mao, Samantha R., Nozomi

Japanese and international students and faculty gather
for a Japanese barbecue at the mountain resort (photo by Sensei and Fumi, June 2012)


IWU representatives at the grand Miyamoto Castle


Busy street in Zenkouji Temple. Each shope
sells various trinkets and goods


Students strike a pose after learning a Japanese
traditional dance


Finally mastering Japanese calligraphy


View of Nagano from atop Motsumoto Castle


Saying final goodbyes to our new friends

KimonoRosaRivera Rosa Rivers with friends in komonos


Farewell message


Saying goodbye from the bus.



June 2011 Technos International Week

This year's trip was cancelled because of the destruction caused by the tsumani in Japan. The Tanaka Foundation had each university bring four students instead of two for the 2012 trip.

June 2010 Technos International Week

Professor Ilaria Ossella-Durbal (Economics) accompanied by students Emily Gumm ('12) and Kylie Peters ('12) participated in the 2010 Technos International Week.

"The best way to understand yourself is to watch people who are different from you. The best way to understand others is to step out of yourself and view the world as they do. The most exciting part of being in Japan was doing things I couldn't or wouldn't have done in the U.S. The most enduring part of the experience was the strong bonds that I, an English-speaking American who had never left the U.S. before, forged with people I met there simply by being myself."

2010 Technos International Week participant

"What an amazing experience! What makes Technos so special is interacting with the Japanese faculty and students at Technos."

–Illaria Ossella-Durbal, Faculty Leader, 2010 Technos International Week

June 2010 Technos International Week Photos

IWU Students Emily and
Kylie at Welcome Ceremony

 Dr. and Mrs. Tanaka at the Welcome Ceremony

Emily , Kylie , Prof. Ossella-Durbal
at the Zenkoji Temple near Nagano

The Matsumoto Castle

Kylie and Emily at the BBQ at Midori
No Mura Village


Kylie in front of Mt. Fuji

Ginza - a bustling shopping district of Tokyo

Daibutsu - a 44 foot high, hollow, bronze
statue of the Buddha - in Kamakura


Kylie with Technos students at their
traditional dance class


Technos students bid farewell to Kylie and Emily

  June 2009 Technos International Week

Every year since the early 1990's IWU has participated in the Technos International Week. I was able to accompany our IWU student representatives, Megan Weinstein and Katie Bayles, for the June 2009 trip.

Roger Schnaitter
Faculty Leader, 2009 Technos International Week

June 2009 Technos International Week Photos

Technos College! After 13 hours in the air
and another two hours on a buss, we arrive.

Banners from the visiting colleges were hung from
balconies of the Technos College courtyard.

Peace? Freedom? Happiness? The two-finger V
was a ubiquitous sign of international solidarity.

Lunch in the cafeteria with Technos officials

Harajuku is the youth shopping district of Tokyo.
The mobs of young people are overwhelming.

Some of the audacious get-ups that
Harajuku is famous for.

Authentic Japanese traditions as seen at Kabuki-za.

Street scene in Shinjuku at dusk

As well as the constant crowds and action, Tokyo offers some quiet retreats. This is a Buddhist temple.

View from the observation deck, Government Center, Shinjku. Sun setting behind a mountain.

 June 2007 Technos International Week participants:

The 2007 Technos International participants were faculty representative Professor Nancy Sultan (MCLL) and students Kari Irwin ('07) and Preston Prior ('07).

"Through the Technos program, I was able to discover the fascinating dichotomy of a culture that is both ancient and modern, plus at least a hundered ways to eat tofu. It was hard to remember that the remote mountain villages and the crowded streets of Tokyo were part of the same country. Yet, even the secularism and hyper-modernity of the city seemed steeped in tradition. I would have liked to stay in Japan all summer, and even now, I am itching to go back!

-Kari Irwin, 2007 Technos participant

"I think that everyone should apply for Technos program. People need to go out and experience the world; it opens people up to the world, to new ideas, and to a better understanding of each other. I came away from this program with a greater understanding of Japan, its culture and people, and also of myself. It was an experience I will never forget.

-Preston Prior, 2007 Technos participant

June 2007 Technos International Week Photos

Technos students and International Week participants
at Midori-No-Mura.

Preston , Prof. Sultan and Kari ,
in traditional yukatas

Kari and Dr. Tanaka, president of the
Tanaka Foundation

Kari ritually purifying her hands before
entering a shrine

Technos particpants with hikers at Kami Kochi

Kari (l.) at re-creation of a family shrine


June 2005 Technos International Week IWU Participants' Comments

"I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Technos International Week program with IWU students Michael Feeney (2008) and Sikiru Tijani (2008). This incredible program allowed us to explore many aspects of Japanese culture and life. We enjoyed the numerous opportunities for discussion with Japanese administrators, faculty members, and students at Technos International College, and were captivated by exciting excursions in and around Tokyo.

I particularly enjoyed the chance to give a lecture to a management class and to interact with faculty and students after the lecture. The first class excursions took us to the beautiful Technos International College mountain retreat, and to some remarkable Japanese castles and temples. We experienced all manner of delicious Japanese food during the two weeks in Japan. The meals and atmosphere at a traditional Japanese inn in Takayama were particularly noteworthy.

I appreciate Dr. Kenji Tanaka's generosity in supporting the Technos International Week program. Most of the expenses of the program are covered by the Tanaka Ikueki Educational Trust. Dr. Tanaka is the Honorary Chair of this trust, and its philanthropic efforts have done much to foster cross-cultural communication and has increased our understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture."

-Mike Seeborg, Chair of Economics, IWU, Faculty Leader, 2005 Technos International Week

Sikuru Tijani ('08) and Mike Feeney ('08), Technos International Week student participants

When people ask me, "So Siki, how was Japan?" I can never find the right words that do the experience justice. Being in Japan was surreal. The Technos International College student had a phrase "ichi go ichi e" which can be best phrased in English as "once in a lifetime," which after the amazing, two-week long experience, I truly believe. Being able to wake up and look out of your window on one day and see the fast changing, evolving modern word of Tokyo, and another day look out to see the natural scenery of the mountainous terrain in Nagano was mind-blowing. The food was like nothing I have had before, and what was even more amazing then scenery and food, were the people. The Technos students as well as citizens of Japan were constantly helpful and friendly. What I took away from this trip, asides from neat souvenirs, are the strong friendships established with the Technos students I met along my travels.

Sikiru Tijani (2008)
International Business and Japanese Studies Major