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NEAR WILTON, Iowa – Most farmers would be done with harvesting.

Not the Marine family in Muscatine County.

They left some of their fields untended  because they were expecting guests.   It may be late for a harvest, but not for a lesson.

About 20 Marycrest International University students left the classrooms for the cornfields.

"We like to get the real version, the real, you know, machines of this size and what it takes to farm these days," Muscatine county farmer Karen Marine told us at her family farm in October of 2000.

These kids have little experience in rural areas.

What appears to amaze many of the international students is the enormity of the fields.   This 1100 acre farm isn't that big by American standards, but by Japanese standards, this is huge.

And in many ways, foreign.

"Yes strange, very strange.  Because, you know, a lot of animals," said Marycrest University freshman Takeo Wasaki.

Farming is often misunderstood by Americans, so you can imagine the eye-opener it's been for these students.

"You know the United States is so big and Japan is so small," said Marycrest University International Studies director Maho Umekaw.

"It's the experience, you know."

And it's that experience Marycrest wants to capitalize on with these students.

"For example they may choose to stay in the United States once their college career is over," said Marycrest's Sue Yoder.

"They'll have some ideas of the opportunities that are out there."

There's more than just a small kernel of truth in that.

Even though Teikyo plans to major in psychology, changing his mindset about farming can last a lifetime.

"It's a great memory, yeah," said Wasaki.