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The Japanese-Language Program for Overseas Partner University Students 2016


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

Training Period: 19th July 2016 - 2nd September 2016

About this program

This program took place between 19th July and 2nd September 2016 with 38 participants from all over the world. Participants came from 16 different countries and areas; Korea, China, Indonesia, Australia, America, New Zealand, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland, Germany, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Canada and Malaysia. This programme is not only to study Japanese language but also to experience Japanese culture which we are unable to experience in our own countries. Such cultural experiences included aikijujutsu, wadaiko, tea ceremony, calligraphy, kimono and ikebana. Not only did we get to experience Japanese culture through these fun events but also through home visits, language exchanges with university students and people in the community, university visits and class trips to places like Kyoto, Nara and Wakayama. This programme was a short six weeks and really went fast. Being unable to speak in your native language is definitely a struggle but it is such a rewarding experience. Our Japanese has improved so much and I have made so many good friends here from all over the world that I will never forget.

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About the classes

We had lots of different classes in this program, all of which required us to express our ideas in Japanese. In discussion class we learnt about various social issues as well as various aspects of Japanese culture, which we then compared to our own countries. During our literacy class, we used the computers in the PC room and were shown various websites to benefit our Japanese language learning. We also had interview classes where we formed groups and interviewed Japanese university students and volunteers in the area on a topic of interest. Lastly, we had a speech class, in which we presented two speeches; one on our country and one on our university or student life. At the end of every two weeks we would have a summary session where we would reflect on interesting things we learnt as well as cultural differences between Japan andour own countries.

Osaka orienteering

During the first week, we had the opportunity to get to better know Osaka's business district. We were split into groups of four, and each group went to different famous tourist attractions in Osaka. The tourist attractions included historical places and commercial districts where you could buy lots of different kinds of items. For instance, our group went to the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living. Here, Japanese housing from the Edo period to Showa period was exhibited. If you see the traditional houses, it looks as though you are in a movie set. Here, you can experience kimono wearing as well, so there were many people walking around wearing kimonos. Further, we were tasked with taking a photo of all our group members with Japanese people, and interviewing this person about his life. Lastly, after the orienteering day, we had a practice presentation where we explained what kind of experience we had to other groups.

During the Orienteering day, our group was really able to get to know each other better and become close in a short span of time. It was a particularly fun day where we got to learn lots of new things and speak with the locals.

Home visit

As part of the program, we were able to experience life in a Japanese household through a home visit. In groups of two to three students, we each spent time with a host family, learning about Japanese lifestyle while also improving our Japanese. Most of us we able to have dinner together and were treated to a buffet of Japanese food kindly prepared by our host families. It was only a few short hours, but I really became close with my host family and found myself wanting to spend more time together. It was definitely one of the highlights of this program.

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Cultural experience

During this program, we were able to participate in various cultural experiences including ikebana, calligraphy, taiko drumming, tea ceremony, aikijujutsu and an opportunity to try on a kimono. We were each able to choose three activities and were then divided into groups by our choices.

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Taiko drumming

Through the cultural experience opportunities we had a chance to listen to and play the Japanese "Taiko" drums. Listening was not only amazing, but also at that time there was a great deal of emotion in the music. Furthermore, everyone was able to participate in drumming alongside the Taiko group and it became a great experience for us all. Lastly, we could understand that if we are in Japan in the future and wanted to try something new, there are these kinds of groups that will be hospitable and welcoming.

Osaka gas

On the 26th of August, we were given the opportunity to tour Osaka Gas. There, we were introduced to the methods in which gas is transported, and shown around the facilities. After that, we went to the Hug Museum where we were able to see the vision of a future house, and we made our own snacks using some of the newest models of kitchens. It was an incredibly fun and educational day.

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Japanese inn

For 2 days we were in Kyoto and stayed in a traditional Japanese inn. From an interest in Japanese, many people have searched about Japan or watched anime. From these things they gain an idea of a traditional Japanese atmosphere and traditional culture. In order to further understand those things and ascertain the true feeling of them, staying in a traditional Japanese inn was a great experience. From the moment we entered into the inn, the atmosphere completely changed. We were able to enter the traditional room, sleep atop the tatami mats on futon, and eat a traditional meal. On top of all this, we could relax in the Japanese public bath space. Wherever we went within the inn, the smell, the sights, everything allowed us to experience traditional Japan and its history.

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University visit

During these six weeks, we had the chance to visit two Japanese universities; Ritsumeikan University and Kobe University.

During our visit to Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, we separated into groups and had lunch together in the cafeteria and were then given a tour of the campus. We were also given a presentation by two exchange students, where we had the opportunity to ask any questions we had on student life and studying at a Japanese university. It was a short amount of time, but everyone really enjoyed this experience and made lots of new friends.

At Kobe University, we interviewed the Japanese students on a topic of interest as part of our interview class and were then given a presentation on student life from the perspective of an international student. After we finished our interviews, we had lots of time to talk to the Japanese students and made many new friends, as well as learning lots about Japanese universities and student life.