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The Japanese-Language Program for Overseas Partner University Students 2014 (Autumn Course)


Japanese-Language Program for Overseas Partner University Students 2014 (autumn)

Japanese-Language Program for Indonesia University Students (Commissioned by Osaka Gas Foundation of International Cultural Exchange)

Training Period: September 2014-October 2014

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About the Program

This year, students from all over the world came to participate in this program. There were 40 students from 19 countries and regions: China, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Slovenia.
At the start of the program, we were placed in different classes according to our current Japanese level, so there's no need to worry about being out of your depth! Most days, we took Discussion, Speech, and Interview classes here at the Institute. However, there were a lot of other activities as well! For example, we did a home visit, cultural classes, and we visited an elementary school and universities.  Furthermore, we went on several excursions to Osaka, Kobe, Nara, and Kyoto. Finally, there was a lot of free time in the evenings and on weekends so we were able to explore and go shopping on our own terms!

 

 Life at the Institute

センターでの生活2.pngWe were really nervous about what living at the Institute would be like for 6 weeks, but there was really nothing to worry about! It didn't take long before we all fell in love with living here. The Institute and its location are really convenient; there are three train stations nearby all within walking distance. Otherwise there are bikes available for you to borrow! Also close to the Institute are a supermarket, 100 yen shop, post office, mall, and shopping center!
Classes usually ended around 3 or 4pm, and after classes we often hung out together in the lounges, or borrowed Institute bikes to go out to eat dinner at Aeon Mall or Rinku Town Shopping Center.

My Normal Daily Routine

7:00am Wake Up!
7:00-8:45am Breakfast at the Cafeteria!
9:00-11:50am First Class
12:00-1:20pm Lunchtime at the Cafeteria!
1:20-3:10pm Second Class
3:20-5:10 Special Class: Cultural Class (not every day!)
6:00-8:00pm Dinner at the Cafeteria or out on the town!
8:00-11:30pm Homework, hanging out with friends in the lounge or karaoke room

Classes 

 During the program, there were three classes: Discussion, Speech and Interview. During Discussion class, we talked about a range of topics such as lifestyles, environment, and traditions in Japan as well as within our own countries. During Speech class, we prepared and presented speeches in Japanese, and gained valuable feedback from our classmates and teacher on how to improve our public speaking. In Interview class, in groups we chose a theme that we wanted to know more about. After preparing interview questions, we had a chance to interview both local residents and Japanese college students about our theme.

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 After that, our groups presented our interview results to our classmates, teachers, interviewees, and guests. We were all nervous on the day of the Presentation, but because we worked so hard on our PowerPoints and speeches, it was really fun and rewarding!

Kira (USA) 

 Elementary School Visit

According to the study program, we visited an elementary school. We visited Kitanaka Elementary School in Izumisano, and it was a very informational experience. We prepared for the visit. In order to introduce our countries to the students, we made posters at the Institute. Some of us even brought along traditional national clothes and wore them on the day of the visit. The school visit was separated into two parts: the first part was after we introduced ourselves; in groups we spent time with first and second-year students. The second part was with third, fourth, fifth, and sixth year students. During that time, we introduced our countries using posters we had made. After that, we had lunch together, helped the students with cleaning, and played together. After that, we went back to the center. So, this is just my opinion, but if you want to experience Japanese school life is like, this visit is a great chance.

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 University Visit

During the program, we visited Japanese universities twice. During our Nara and Kyoto trip, we first visited Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. After a tour of the campus, we had a chance to talk freely with students of Ritsumeikan. In groups of 3 or so, we discussed a variety of things such as the Japanese system of entering university, studying abroad (for foreigners and Japanese), students’ lifestyles, etc. We also shared information about our own hometown universities. The visit to Ritsumeikan was short, but it was a great chance to learn different things.
The second visit was to Osaka University. Same as with the Ritsumeikan University visit, we started with a tour of the campus.  During this visit, there were two main things I learned. First, current Osaka University foreign exchange students told us about what studying in Japan is like for foreigners. Secondly, we were able to participate in a lecture on linguistics presented by a professor of Osaka University. Furthermore, we had fun dancing and having lunch with the Osaka University students.

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 Home Visit

The home visit had two main goals: to deepen our understanding of Japanese life habits, and to increase
our Japanese speaking ability. We were able to achieve both these goals because of the visit to our Japanese host families. In groups of 2 or 3 trainees, we visited our host families. We were able to do things like see Japanese homes, learn about everyday Japanese lifestyles, and talk to Japanese people. Everything about
the home visit became a really beneficial experience.

Anna (Russia)

 Study Trip

 The Institute organized for us to go on study trips to neighboring prefectures. These were great opportunities as they allowed us to travel while studying and see different places. Not only that, but it provided for us the opportunity to absorb into the everyday culture of Japan. Each trip expanded our understanding of the different aspects of Japanese culture.

 

Nara and Kyoto

On the first day, we visited one of Japan’s famous tourist attractions, Toudaiji. When we arrived we were so lucky since we were able to view monks performing a formal service inside the temple. The tour guide told us it was one of the rarest moments we could experience while being at Nara. It was also a good fun playing with the deer, trying to take photos with them and buying fancy souvenirs nearby. The librarian mentioned how we should be careful with our wallet in the trips: it’s so easy to spend money on everything during the trips because everything looks so fancy and cute, and she was so right about it!
That same day, we stayed at a beautiful ryokan (Japanese Inn-House). Everyone got changed into yukata, and attended dinner together. Everything was presented so neatly and pretty that there is no exaggeration when I say that we tasted the food with our eyes first, and ate with our chopsticks after.

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On the second day we explored Kyoto, the city abundant with the traditional culture of Japan. After eating a lovely breakfast with everyone, we head off to Kiyomizudera, the temple of clean-pure water. When one visits Kiyomizudera, one should pay close attention to the flowing Kiyomizu: water that gives oneself energy, beauty and wisdom. One is not allowed, however, to drink the water more than once. It is expected of everyone to not be greedy and share with the rest of the visitors. Before we had to rendezvous with the group, we bought lots of souvenirs for our families and friends. Shopping was a great opportunity for us to use our learned Japanese and have a good chat with Japanese locals. Don't be afraid to talk to them because they are more than happy to talk to you, they really appreciate it!

 Cultural Activities

Of course, you will be attending classes at the institute but there's also a chance for you to participate into 3 different kinds of cultural activities according to your preference. The activities are held after class and are one of the things that make this program so fun and amazing.
You can choose from: Aiki-jujutsu, Tea-ceremony, Japanese drumming class, Calligraphy, Yukata class and Ikebana (Japanese Flower arrangement). If you compare between Tea-ceremony and Aikido, you would see two distinct activities: one girly and one manly activity, but I recommend you to try something very new to you and it will surprise you! The experience will change your preconceptions about the activity!

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 Advice

  1. You should be very careful with your personal belongings especially your passport, wallet-- credit card, cash and so on. Never keep everyone in one location; spreading your money out in multiple safe places reduces your losses in case something happens.
  2. If you are used to wearing slippers from your own home, bring your own pair of slippers.
  3. The institute has a laundry so you don't have to worry about going far to clean your dirty clothes, but you have to buy your own detergent!
  4. You need your own hygienic Items such as shampoo, lotion, toothpaste so make sure you bring some or buy some from a supermarket here.
  5. There is a self-study room on the 2F where you can use the computers and printer. However, the self-study room has limited open hours, which are from 7:30am till 2am. It would be convenient to bring your own laptop, but you don't need to bring it if you think it's too heavy.
  6. You have a bit of free time after classes, during the weekends and public holidays so it won't be like having classes and homework every day!
  7. Use your Japanese as much as you can. You really want to make most of your time here.
  8. Everyone gets stage fright. If it’s too daunting at first to make a speech in front of people, try offering to become the MC. It is a little scary at first, but it gets easier and it makes a huge difference in your Japanese efficiency.
  9. Don't ask someone to speak in Japanese for you. Use your Japanese while you are in JAPAN!
  10. Please look after yourself by going out with someone in pairs or in groups and most importantly have fun. I promise it will be a life changing experience and you will have the time of your life and create many memories. Cheers!
  11. If you see anyone working at the institute, try to routinely offer simple salutations such as "good morning", "thank you", "good afternoon", "hello", "Itadakimasu" or "gochisousama" in Japanese. It's important to express gratitude and be thankful to those who help make this program great.
  12. Go and talk to new people! Interact with them! It's your only chance to meet so many different people from different cultures. Don't be afraid making new friends because it's one of the best things about this program: making new friends!

 

 6 MAIN THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT UPOG!

  1. 10.おまけ.jpgBeing immersed in Japanese language with teachers who are kind, patient, and knowledgeable
  2. Having a variety of classes that focus on different things, especially the special classes like the computer literacy class that gave us a lot of helpful websites that we can use to improve our Japanese
  3. The excursions allowed us to see a lot of different parts of Japan we may not have been able to see on our own
     Re: excursions: We were exposed to all sides of   Japanese life - modern (Osaka), traditional (Kyoto),
     natural abundance (Wakayama)
  4. The program took such good care of us by providing us with a meal allowance, as well as an ICOCA card which we could use to pay for train tickets so that we could explore Japan on our own!
  5. Since the program is international, we got to make friends from all over the world, and now we all treasure the friendships we made during our time in the program.
  6. Through the program, we were able to have private "open campus"-style tours of different Japanese universities, as well as a chance to speak peer-to-peer with actual Japanese college students, so now we all are better informed and better prepared for studying abroad at a Japanese university!

 

Hannah (Australia)

 

We thank Osaka Gas Foundation of International Cultural Exchange (OGFICE), Ritsumeikan University, Osaka University, Izumisano Municipal Kitanaka Elementary School and other organizations for their cooperation to this program.

 

 



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