The Global Education Center held a short-term program entitled 'Kobe Japanese Program January 2024: Explore Kobe and its links to Oceania! The program was held from 5 (Fri) to 26 (Fri) January 2024. This was the fifth time the program had been held, and the target was not limited to Australian universities but was broadened to include universities in the Oceania region, inviting students currently studying Japanese: and two students from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, making a total of 16 participants. On the first day, an opening ceremony and orientation were held, and the participating international students took Japanese language and area studies classes for about three weeks, starting with the Kobe area studies tour on the following day.


In the Japanese language classes, students learned Japanese using original teaching materials based on vocabulary and grammar items at the late beginner level, but also incorporating content related to regional studies classes in Kobe and Hyogo. The area study classes were conducted in English or a combination of Japanese and English, and included visits to areas such as Kobe (Motomachi and Sannomiya areas), Rokko and Maya (Suidosuji shopping area), Himeji Castle and Arima, as well as facilities such as the Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution, to learn about the characteristics and history of these areas and lessons from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.

As one of their extracurricular activities, the students had an exchange meeting with domestic students at Kobe University, mainly those who are scheduled to be sent to Australia, during the lunch break on Tuesday 9 January. The students exchanged information about each other's universities and talked about various topics in both Japanese and English. On Saturday 20 January, a tour of the Sawanotsuru Museum was held as an optional event. The participants listened to the museum staff explain, via an English interpreter, traditional sake brewing methods and the special features of the area known as Nada Gogo.

At the final presentation on Friday 26 January, each of the participating students gave a presentation in Japanese on a topic related to the program. Two honorable guests, Mr. Toshikazu Ota, Chairman of the Kobe Japan-Australia Society, and Dr. Dennitza Stefanova GABRAKOVA of Victoria University of Wellington, also attended to listen to the presentations by the participants. The presentations showed how lively the participating students had been during the program and that they had had a fulfilling three weeks. After the presentations, a farewell party was held at the Takigawa Memorial Hall, where the participants said goodbye to each other and expressed their gratitude to the University's staff for their teaching and assistance.

An Australian student who participated in this program two years ago has spent a year studying at Kobe University as an exchange student. Among the participating students in this year's program, some students are also scheduled to study at our university this coming academic year as exchange students. We hope that this program which utilizes the University's human and material resources has helped to increase the participating students' understanding of and interest in the University and the Kobe region.

Website for Kobe Japanese Program January 2024

(Global Education Center)