The twenty-first century has been described as a time of multicultural coexistence, in which people from differing countries and cultures must learn to live together with respect for their mutual differences. To prepare for life in such a society, students must develop an international sensibility.
The College of Arts and Sciences offers international exchange programs in which students can experience such cultural differences. One involves exchanges with students from overseas.
During the spring semester, the College accepts students from Taiwan and Singapore for short-term training. During these programs, student support staff assist trainees in their daily lives and with their study in Japan. Student support staff not only study with trainees from overseas and accompany them on field trips but also plan and manage welcoming and farewell ceremonies, joint research presentations, and intercultural exchange events.
Exchanges with students of the same generation but from differing cultures provide an excellent opportunity to consider the connections between the world and Japan and between the world and each individual student. Other student activities in this area include assisting with video courses for a university partner high school in Taiwan and volunteering to help with Japanese-language courses in the nearby community.
Additionally, students working toward their Japanese-language teacher’s credentials have opportunities to participate in Japanese-language teaching practice in the United States and Taiwan. Engaging in teaching practice amid an unfamiliar cultural environment is not easy, and all students returning from this program say it gave them a profound sense of how much more they need to learn. Even so, each student appeared to be much stronger after returning. This experience of “Understanding the world; Changing ourselves” fosters not just an international sensibility but also something essential as an individual living in the wider world.