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    Graduate students visit Taiwanese university for arts exchange event
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Graduate students visit Taiwanese university for arts exchange event

 Twelve graduate students majoring in art and music and three faculty members visited our partner school National Pingtung University in Taiwan for a social event from December 6 (Tuesday) to December 9 (Friday).
 Our graduate program in Art Education has included exchange with National Pingtung University as part of the class “Modern Educational Challenges and Art” since 2013. Aiming to expand the cultural exchange opportunities beyond fine arts in the future, this was the first time we had graduate students in the Music Research Course of the Music and Fine Arts Studies Major participate.
 The first day of the exchange event was a fine arts workshop called “Feel and Try” that was planned by OKU students. All participants created improvised art using matcha tea powder and sumi ink, and strengthened their ties of friendship through performances that transcended words.
 On the second day, the group visited a settlement of indigenous people of Taiwan, and listened to traditional songs sung by local elementary school students. After that, the group paid a formal visit to the president of National Pingtung University and students and faculty members gave musical performances.
 On the third day, the group traveled around southern Taiwan to admire its lush natural landscapes and historical buildings, and learned about the longstanding relationship between Taiwan and Japan. At dinner, they listened to Taiwanese folk songs passed down for generations andstudents from both universities relaxed and engaged in lively conversation.
 One of the participants, Tomoko Nakamura, a first-year graduate student majoring in Art Education said: “We broke through the language barrier with the Taiwanese students. The arts workshop was so exciting that I didn’t even notice we spoke different languages. I think that art served as a common language. This was a valuable experience for me.” Another participant, Yukari Kobayashi, a first-year graduate student majoring in Music and Fine Arts Studies said: “Sharing ideas through interaction with the other students and performances made me happy. I want to apply these expressive skills to future performances and in my research.”

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