Eight Key Ideas
At Ritsumeikan Primary School we work toward students developing the ability to understand and respect cultures beyond their own. In today’s world it is a fundamental skill to be able to recognize and appreciate our similarities and differences. Although students are still in their initial years of education, we also hope to plant the seed of thinking globally and acting locally.
One event for the entire student body is “World Week.” Every year since we opened in 2006 we have had international university students come and spend a week with us. Primarily they have been full-time students of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU). On average, World Week has hosted APU students representing at least eleven different countries.
During World Week one or two APU students are assigned to each homeroom class. Ritsumeikan Primary School students have opportunities to learn about the country of their “guest teacher,” and they can spend time together in recess, lunch, and various classes. We also have activities for our students to teach our visitors about Japanese culture. World Week has a special energy with lots of sharing, and we appreciate all that the APU students contribute!
We are also thankful for our collaboration with schools in China, Singapore, Australia, the U.S.A., and Thailand. Through our partnerships we have been able to offer optional programs for some of our students to travel abroad and sometimes for a mutual exchange when their students come to visit us. In addition, we have been fortunate to welcome guests from Canada, the U.K., Malaysia, Mongolia, and Italy, as well as students from Indonesia, Taiwan, and the U.A.E.
Through these programs and visits, students’ lives are touched. The variety of exposure, whether daily, occasional, or once-in-a-lifetime, helps students broaden their viewpoint and how they think about the world we share. Ritsumeikan encourages students to be aware of and sensitive toward the diversity of customs and the understanding that there is not necessarily any one way to live and enjoy life.