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K-CIP top > Attractions of Kansai > Life & Culture
life and culture
Quality of life and culture in the eyes of resident foreigners
Mrs. Catherine Bertinshaw

Mrs. Catherine Bertinshaw has lived in Japan for three years. She lives with her husband, son, and daughter in Onohara, Minoh, Osaka prefecture. Her husband works for Boral Limited, an Australian company.
As a key member of the Osaka branch of the "Welcome Furoshiki" volunteer group, she provides newcomers to Japan with some of the necessities of life in Japan, she is also chairperson of an expatriate orientation program, "Bridges To Osaka".
   
"Our neighborhood, in the northern part of Osaka Prefecture, has a beautiful natural environment with many wonderful facilities, including a swimming pool, gymnasium, skating rink, park and other recreational facilities. It also has an excellent international school.
I enjoy a free and comfortable life here in Osaka. For example, it is possible to buy imported foods, and some hospitals provide service in English. As well, a community of foreign residents has emerged, so it is possible to exchange information on daily living and other needs.
Osaka is a cosmopolitan community, yet foreign residents can also enjoy the traditional beauty and original culture of Japan. As well, Osaka is really the center of the Kansai region, and access to transportation to all destinations, including Kyoto, Kobe, and Nara, is exceptionally convenient. I am very happy living in Osaka.
Come with an open mind and an open heart, be accepting of differences, and you will find a fascinating culture and a very special beauty."
 
 
Mrs. Christine Marcum

Mrs. Christine Marcum came to Japan from Denver, U.S.A., in August 1995. She lives with her husband, daughter and son on Rokko Island in Higashinada-ku, Kobe. Her husband works for Gates Nitta Asia Pacific Company. She works at Community House & Information Centre (CHIC) as assistant administrator.
   
"I particularly enjoy the diverse international community in the Kobe area. Our lives are enriched not only by Japanese culture, but by the various cultures of peoples from all over the world who share their languages, foods, and traditions. Speaking for my family, I would like to add that we find the Japanese people of the Kansai region are very kind and helpful to foreigners."
"At Community House & Information Centre (CHIC), where I work as assistant administrator, we offer cultural classes for our international community. A few examples include yoga, belly dancing, appreciating Japanese antiques, children's ballet, Japanese language classes, shodo instruction for adults and children, and cooking classes offering cuisine from all over the world. CHIC also hosts art shows, yearly visits from Santa, and sightseeing outings. Through these varied classes and activities we encourage friendship between cultures. CHIC is a nonprofit center where Japanese and foreign volunteers work side by side to make Kansai a friendly and pleasant place to live."
 
 
Mrs. Marina Markova

Mrs. Marina Markova and her family have been living in the Kansai Science City for one year after staying in Aichi Prefecture for six years. She is from Russia and her husband from Bulgaria, who works for Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR). She is very satisfied with life in Kansai. Kansai is, she thinks,
   
" the historical and cultural center of Japan". Especially, she appreciates the natural environment as well as the convenience of living in and around the Kansai Science City area---comfortable housing, shops dealing with imported foods and easy access to other cities including Kyoto, Nara and Osaka (about a half an hour by train).
She said that their children are happy in their school, having many friends. Their son, now in junior high school, is growing up multilingual. He won first prize in the speech contest among his Japanese peers last year.
She has also met many "nice, young people" and enjoys her hobby of cooking and singing and her social life with her friends both Japanese and international. For example, she teaches her friends how to cook Russian and Bulgarian foods and has held on Halloween party. She told us about her wonderful experience of cultural exchange when she was invited to give a concert in her daughter's kindergarten, where all of the children and their mothers enjoyed singing "Katyusha", a traditional Russian song, together.
 
 
International Schools in Kansai TEL FAX
Kyoto International School 81-75-451-1022 81-75-451-1023
Kansai Christian School 81-743-74-1781 81-743-74-1781
Osaka YMCA International School 81-6-4395-1002 81-6-4395-1004
Osaka International School 81-727-27-5050 81-727-27-5055
Canadian Academy 81-78-857-0100 81-78-857-3250
Marist Brothers International School 81-78-732-6266 81-78-732-6268
Saint Michael's International School 81-78-231-8885 81-78-231-8899
 
 
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