Report from Teikyo University
From November 12, 2017, Teikyo Univ. invited 10 students majoring in science and engineering and 1 supervising faculty member to participate in an experiment/training program for advanced Japanese research in the fields of mechanics, information electronics, and bioscience. Participants came from the partner universities of Atma Jaya Catholic University (Indonesia), Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (Vietnam), and Shandong Jiaotong University (China).
The program consisted of activities including an information session, campus tour, welcome party, farewell party, research experience, tours of corporations/Japanese cultural facilities, and a presentation of result. On November 19, all participants successfully completed the eight-day program of the schedule.
Participant students engaged in enthusiastic and animated self-introductions. There excitement at being in Japan was evident and they did not seem at all tired by their long journey from their native countries. Following welcome speeches by the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and by the Chairperson of each department, an information session was held for each department. Participants then took a campus tour.
A welcome party was held at the student cafeteria with participation from faculty members and students from accepting laboratories, as well as administrative staff members. The international students gradually became more relaxed and enjoyed informal exchange with faculty members, staff, and students.
Friendships had been made during the week-long stay, so students took photographs with each other and appeared reluctant to say goodbye. The week seemed to have flown by in an instant, and everyone really enjoyed themselves at the farewell party.
On the second and third days of the program, the international students participated in in-depth research training with support from Japanese student research assistants at each laboratory. The themes of research were "data analysis of nano-particles and exhaust gas emitted from diesel engines" at the Department of Mechanical and Precision System, "computer vision exercises using machine learning technology" at the Department of Information and Electronic Engineering, and "visualization method experiments using mass spectrometric imaging techniques for biomolecules" at the Department of Biosciences.
On the fourth day, after dividing into groups based on their field of expertise, participants visited the Kitsuregawa Proving Ground of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, and the sake brewer Shimazaki Shuzo. Exclaiming things like "Awesome!" and "Amazing!", the international students were clearly thrilled at their first-ever direct experience with the facilities and technicians of Japanese corporations.
After touring corporations, participants visited Nikko Toshogu Shrine, a World Heritage Site. They were thrilled at the splendor of the newly-restored Yomei-mon Gate and main temple, the intricacy of architectural carvings, and the beauty of colored autumn leaves.
After finishing the five-day period of on/off-campus research activities, corporate visits, and Japanese cultural/historical experiences, the participants held a presentation for each of their themes. Following the presentation, each participant received a completion certificate for the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science from Dean Namie of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.
Although the program lasted only eight days, when saying goodbye to Japanese students, all of the international participants expressed their desire to visit Japan again in the future. Of course, Japanese students encouraged them to come back as soon as possible. The program was truly a wonderful opportunity for international exchange.
Moving forward, our university will strive to further expand our exchange with Indonesia, Vietnam, and China. The program was an invaluable opportunity for international students to interact with Japanese students while experiencing all that Japan has to offer. We are deeply grateful to the Sakura Science Program and to everyone else who made the program possible.