We co-organized a special seminar for international students entitled “How to Make Your Life Comfortable When Studying Abroad: A Seminar on Human Relations in Japan” with the Japanese Classroom, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology on March 29th, 2019. We welcomed 20 participants, coming from the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology and various other graduate schools. Also, the 7th–12th UTokyo FFP alumni joined the seminar as facilitators.
The seminar was divided into two sessions: the first half with group activities and the second half with sharing ideas among the whole participants. During the group activities in the first session, they shared their experiences on “what you found difficult when you are studying abroad,” and based on that, organized “the problems regarding human relations that you want to solve” in groups.
In the second session, the respective groups first made a poster on the issue they discussed previously consisting of the following four elements: 1) The problems regarding human relations that you want to solve, 2) Ways of thinking in your own country, 3) Assumption of Japanese ways of thinking and behaviors, and 4) Examination of potential solutions. Then, they used a strategy called “Poster Tour” and shared their thoughts with other groups.
Here are some of the feedback we received in the post-seminar questionnaires.
- ・I enjoyed the seminar because it made me realize a variety of things. Thank you.
- ・I realized how difficult it is to understand things about myself. It is easy to feel something strange with others, but not with myself.
Meanwhile, we also hear other participants complaining that they need more specific solutions. We would like to meet their demands by improving the seminar.
We have accumulated the know-how through co-organizing special seminars for international students annually with the Japanese Classroom, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology. We hope the event will further develop through cooperation with international and domestic students in Japan!
(Photos provided by Prof. Rumiko Mukai, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology)