LBAT Program

LBAT (Languages for Business and Technology) Program for Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

APU has been hosting Language for Business and Technology program for Georgia Institute of Technology in Georgia, USA since 2008 (except for year 2011).

APU organized and arranged the following activities/field trips for the LBAT program in 2012.

  • Tea Ceremony
  • Calligraphy
  • Company Visits to:
    • Power Plant Companies (Geothermal plant and solar power plant)
    • Automobile company
    • Electric company
    • Video game development studio
  • Weekend Home stay
Testimonial (comment from instructor of LBAT program) 

Every year the Georgia Institute of Technology runs a number of Study Abroad programs.  One of those is the LBAT (Languages for Business and Technology) Japan summer intensive Japanese language training program, which has been held at APU since the summer of 2008.

As the name indicates, LBAT Japan is a program for learning the Japanese used primarily in the fields of business and technology.  In 2012, the program ran for approximately 8 weeks, from May 16 through July 10, and 19 college students, men and women both, participated.  Targeting beginning level students who have completed 4 semesters of Japanese or more (210 hours of study or more) in the US, the participating students live at AP House and study three courses:  Introductory Business Japanese, Introductory Technical Japanese and “Japan Today.”  Additionally, in order to learn about Japanese culture and history, throughout the duration of the program experiential opportunities are offered, such as classes in calligraphy and tea ceremony, field trips to companies / factories and schools, and home stays with Japanese families.

LBAT Japan was run prior to 2008, but the program at APU has the following special features.  To begin with, each LBAT student is paired up with an APU student buddy.  This is not only so that the students have the chance to practice Japanese conversation in a stress-free environment, but also so that they can experience and learn things through interacting with their buddies that they would not otherwise be able to via regular classroom lessons or through official program events.

Another special feature of the APU LBAT program is that the participating students live in APU House, a large student dorm, mixed in together with APU students. It is not just that they are not staying all lumped together as a single group in a guesthouse or the Seminar House, but rather that they are able to experience the typical dorm life of a Japanese university student together with the other dorm residents as occurs during a regular academic term.

And there is one more special feature of the APU LBAT program that we must not forget:  APU is an extremely international university located in Beppu, an international tourist destination.  International students comprise approximately half of the student body and because both Japanese and English are used on campus, practically all the LBAT students who are coming to Japan for the first time have a relatively worry-free stay.  While it is true that the fact that English is understood can become an obstacle in learning Japanese, everyone at the university starting with the students themselves makes a point of interacting with the LBAT participants in Japanese.  Additionally, the people of Beppu are used to interacting with foreign students and treat the LBAT participants kindly as well.

Next year will mark the 5th year that LBAT has been held at APU.  The fact that this program has made it to this point is thanks to everyone at APU and also to the host families that participate in our home stay program.  I am grateful to them all.  I hope that through this program the interaction between our two schools will continue to grow in the future.

If you would like to learn more about the LBAT program at APU, please click on the link below. 

Georgia Institute of Technology
School of Modern Langauges
Kimiaki Yamaguchi

Comments from LBAT program participants

"I improved my Japanese listening and speaking ability in a practical setting and made many great friends."

"I believe the cultural differences enhanced my learning here. I really enjoyed talking and comparing the differences in places, and comparing the different backgrounds people come from."

"Best aspect: in addition to the scheduled events, hanging out with our APU buddies was great because they only spoke Japanese, so we got a lot of practice even in our free time."