Gunma University Summer Program 2017
The Successful Completion of an Educational and Enjoyable Cross-Cultural Experience at GU!
Gunma University International Center held the Gunma University Summer Program 2017 for 11 days from July 10th to 21st. A total of 10 international students (seven partner universities and three GU visiting international students) took part in the program. The seven students attending the program from GU’s partner universities originated from China, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Mongolia, respectively.
During the program, the students took part in a Japanese language interview project. As part of this project, the students had to conduct interviews with Japanese students and present their findings in a final presentation. Introduced by experts, the students also had the opportunity to experience traditional Japanese culture including the tea ceremony, Japanese painting, flower arrangement, and Japanese music, among others. Participants showed much interest during the lessons and participated actively in every class.
Although the program was mainly conducted at the Aramaki campus, some activities were held away from the university in order to enjoy and appreciate such things as Kabuki theater, a trip to Ikaho Hot Springs and a walking tour of Kiryu. In Ikaho, the students experienced a ryokan and a hot spring. In Kiryu, the students were presented with a chance to experience Japanese culture by lying down on tatami mats and posing in yukata alongside a Japanese house built in the Meiji era. After school and on the weekend, the students enjoyed eating shaved ice and watching a firework display with their Japanese (student) buddies. Looking back, it was a short study period of only 11 days but during this time, everyone seemed to have fully enjoyed their brief introduction to Japan in summer.
Impression of a Participating International Student
Ms. Aulia Nur Amanda, 4th Year, Faculty of Education, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia:
I am Aulia who participated from the Indonesian University of Education. It was my first time to participate in a Japanese university’s summer program, but I enjoyed being able to learn a variety of things. What I especially expected was to experience Japanese culture and festivals. Thanks to the summer program, I have made many friends and went to the Tanabata fireworks festival with the student buddies of the university. I also went to a hot spring during the program. It has been a wonderful experience for everyone. I would like to do archery and view cherry blossoms etc. if I can have more experiences at a Japanese university next time. I would be happy if I could come back to Gunma University someday and realize that. The lessons were also very interesting and as soon as I get a scholarship, I would like to go to a graduate school in Japan.
Impression of Participating GU Student Buddies
Ms. Ayaka Takano, 1st Year, School of Medicine:
I joined the trip to Ikaho Onsen as a buddy and helped introduce how to experience Japanese culture such as how to enter a hot spring and how to have dinner to international students staying at a Japanese inn for the first time. I spoke a lot with international students in two days. I was particularly surprised that there are considerable differences in the values of SNS and love in each country. It was a lot of fun because we had many opportunities to do “girl talk” with foreigners. Thank you for this valuable experience.
Mr. Seihiro Yamazaki, 4th Year, Faculty of Education
Although two weeks with international students from Taiwan was a short time, we were able to do many things and share valuable experiences together. While I was surprised by the differences between Taiwan and Japan, I was very happy to be able to learn and understand this. Rather than just being an “anchor” for international students this time, the role of “buddy” was very good. I would like to try it again if there is an opportunity.