Kobe Japanese Program January Session 2021 was held
- February 24, 2021
The Kobe University Center for International Education held a short-term exchange program, the Kobe Japanese Program January Session 2021 (Discover the Kobe Area and Japan- Australia つながり! ), from January 6th~27th 2021.
The program caters to students studying Japanese primarily at our partner universities in Australia. The first session was held in-person in 2020, but due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the 2021 session was held completely online.
The course received 16 participants from the following 5 universities - Curtin University, Monash University, University of Newcastle, University of Western Australia, and University of Wollongong.
Beginning on January 6th with the Opening Ceremony and Orientation, and finishing with the Final Presentations and Closing Ceremony on the 27th, the students took both Japanese Language and Area Studies from Monday to Saturday over the course of 3 weeks.
The Japanese Language classes were designed to serve as preparation for and be directly applicable to the Area Studies sessions, introducing relevant vocabulary and upper-Elementary grammar. Japanese Language learning comprised of Classes (2 hours, 8 students each), proceeded or followed by Tutorials (1 hour, 4 students each). Having a chance to apply the new grammar points in a smaller intimate group proved very popular with the students.
The Area Studies component was focused on Kobe City and Hyogo Prefecture. Through virtual tours, video footage and live lectures, students learned about prominent locations such as Kobe City, Arima Onsen Town, Nada Ward, Rokko and Maya areas, as well as history, geological characteristics, various industries, and the effects of the Great Hanshin Earthquake.
Our honored guest speakers included:
Professor Jong Woo Park of the Kobe University Center for International Education and International Alumni;
Professor TATSUMI Yoshiyuki of the Kobe University Kobe Ocean-Bottom Exploration Center;
Ms. Lamyaa Kanai, brand manager of Goshoboh Bessho and International Alumni;
Professor Richard Harrison of the Kobe University Center for International Education;
Mr. Chulwoong Park, manager of Guesthouse MAYA and key figure in the Maya Revitalization Project; and
Mr. GODA Takumi, the Marketing Director of Sawanotsuru Sake Brewery.
We also had the honor of learning about Australia-Japan relationships, experiences and perspectives directly from Mr. Trevor Holloway, Australian Consul-General in Osaka; and Mr. Brett Cooper, Senior Trade Commissioner of Austrade and Kobe University alumni.
In the Final Presentation, students utilized the vocabulary and grammar obtained on the course to present their personal findings about a つながり (link) between Australia and Kobe or Japan. These presentations showed us the students’ avid interest in and deep understanding of the various themes introduced in this course.
In order to mitigate the lack of interaction that comes with online programs, we implemented a “Buddy system”, pairing a program participant with a Kobe University student. Through the GPS Office, we were able to recruit students from the Global Campus Program. The buddies were free to interact through various messaging platforms and video chats to aid each other in their assignments, and to participate in university led exchange activities.
While we strongly hope that we will be able to conduct the next session live and in-person, we will strive to utilize what we have learned through running this course online to further international relations.
Center for International Education