A customized program in a new field
From Wednesday, May 30, 2018 until Friday, June 8, 2018, the Ritsumeikan University International Center at OIC held a short-term education program at the Osaka Ibaraki Campus (OIC) for 30 students and 5 instructors from Shanxi Normal University in China.
Starting in 2011, each year Shanxi Normal University sends a group of 20-30 high-achieving students abroad in order to learn about and experience advanced educational systems. This year, which is also the 60th anniversary of the university’s founding, the program took place at Ritsumeikan University.
OIC has hosted a short-term business program in the summer and in the winter each year since the campus opened in 2015, but this education program was a new customized program meant for students wishing to become teachers in China in the future. The program included lectures about education, visits to Ritsumeikan Elementary School and Ritsumeikan Junior and Senior High School, company visits, and a cultural experience. One defining aspect of the program was the many opportunities for the international students to interact with Ritsumeikan student buddies. The program participants also stayed in OIC International House, which was completed in March 2018 and features 6-person living units, another point that distinguished this program from previous programs.
Exchange with Ritsumeikan student buddies, who provided support during the program
During this program, 46 Ritsumeikan students served as buddies to the international students, providing support for daily life in Japan, planning parties, and even staying in the same units as the students from Shanxi Normal University in OIC International House. Furthermore, the buddies also prepared for the arrival of the international students by independently arranging for the Ritsumeikan buddies from China to teach Chinese to the Japanese buddies, as well as holding several planning meetings. The buddies and international students were able to thoroughly enjoy each other’s company through sightseeing activities during the program’s free time, an exchange event focused on food at OIC International House that involved buddies, international students, and dormitory residents, and more. Both the buddies and international students were able to further their understanding of different cultures through communication in English and Chinese, inspiring and motivating each other throughout the program.
Education Lectures and School Visits
For the education lectures, Professor Hirotaka Oki of the Institute for Teaching and Learning gave a lecture about higher education, while Associate Professor Seiro Yamauchi of the Teacher Education Center gave a lecture about teacher training. The international students listened with enthusiasm, and after each lecture, they surrounded the professors to ask them questions in quick succession.
During the visits to Ritsumeikan affiliated schools, there were lively question-and-answer sessions about education as the international students participated in class and toured the schools. At Ritsumeikan Junior and Senior High School, the international students participated in the high school students’ Chinese class and held one-on-one conversations with the high school students. At Ritsumeikan Elementary School, the children gave campus tours in English and the international students participated in classes, in addition to giving the children a short lesson in Chinese. At the end of the elementary school visit, the children sang a song for the international students, and some international students were moved to tears by the sadness of parting.
Taking this program as an opportunity to deepen the friendship between Shanxi Normal University and Ritsumeikan University, the International Center will continue to actively promote exchange according to the needs of overseas universities, by developing short-term programs in a variety of fields.