International Exchange Gathering
Through lectures and conversations with international students, the students of IPNU get to experience the diverse range of values existing in different cultures, they gain a broader international perspective and they are given the motivation to study overseas.
In the 2015 year, the Russian international student to Kanazawa Seiryo University, Andrei Emelianov, was invited to speak about his motivations for overseas study and his experiences in Japan. In addition, we also had a presentation by fourth year IPNU student Kumi Matsui on the topic of ‘Activities as part of JICA’ in which she spoke about her valuable experiences and activities while spending three years in Nicaragua (Central America). After their presentations, the audience split into groups and had the opportunity to further their discussion with the two, through direct conversation. (Held on 22 December 2015)
Some feedback following the presentations
1. More motivated/more interested in gaining experience overseas/going on a study trip:
- I had some interest in overseas training, however I didn’t know what to do, and was worried about whether I could really do it and was undecided, however listening to these presentations made me want to go.
- It was really great to participate today. After listening to Andrei and Kumi’s speeches today, I became motivated to contribute on a global level. I don’t think there will be many opportunities to expand or change my values, so I don’t think I should miss this chance to actually ‘go for it’ once I am really ready. And if this kind of event is held again I would really like to participate!
- The common theme between the presentations of these two people was ‘changing your perspective will expand your horizons for the future’. I will remember those words the most.
- From listening to the experiences of these two people, I learned that in order to go on a study trip, one must have a strong will and specific goals. By having goals I feel that I will gain the courage to go on a study trip. I thought that it was really cool to be able to go to another country and put in the effort to make change in a village. I would now like to have my own goals and go on a study trip.
2. Noticed the difference in values (the norm is not the norm)/gained a broader perspective:
- I was surprised at Mr. Emelianov‘s interest in Japan and ability to take action and apply for university in Japan. Ms. Matsui’s talk made me notice that the norm is not the norm. I thought that people who can go to different countries for the benefit of others are amazing. I thought that the important thing about a study trip is to know about the culture and language of the destination. As one of the current problems, I found out that money is an issue.
- I just thought it was amazing that Kumi went to Nicaragua as a volunteer for rural development. I was impressed by the speakers because they understood the differences between their own thinking and that of others, and they had a broad perspective.
3. Thought about ‘understanding people’
- I realized that it is not just a person’s background, but a person’s country and village background that has an effect on a person’s life.
- I learned that there are diverse value systems – something that is the norm in Japan is not the norm overseas. Working as a nurse, I think I will have opportunities to come into contact with a range of people, and I realized that I will have to treat them with consideration given for their backgrounds.
4. It became ‘an opportunity to examine myself’
- My perspective became very broad. I felt glad to have been born in Japan, and I would like to find something that I can do, and that I can focus on.
5. I would like to learn about other cultures and be able to nurse people from other countries
- It was good to participate because I could find out about the actual activities of JICA and the thoughts of those who participated. There are more and more overseas visitors coming to Kanazawa and you never know when they might become patients. I would like to learn about different cultures and gain the ability to nurse people from other countries.
6. Other: A strong will is important. Having an interest in culture will be a motivator.
- It was a very good opportunity because it was the first time for me to hear the experiences of people who have actually participated in JICA. In terms of other countries providing assistance, I was able to understand how it would work. I thought it was amazing that a small thing like comics could be the motivator for a study trip and that this part of Japanese culture could have such an effect.
- I thought that there would be a lot to learn from going to another country. I felt that it would be hard to go on a study trip or go overseas as part of JICA, and that you would have to have a strong will to be able to actually do it.