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Students from Overseas Partner Schools Experience Japanese Education and Culture

The School Internship and Cultural Exchange Program (SICEP), a short-term program in English for partner school students, was held from July 3 to 15 on the Kashiwara campus, welcoming nine students from Finland, the U.S. and China (Hong Kong).
SICEP was created for the purposes of increasing understanding of Japan through learning about Japanese education and of developing professionals with a global outlook by introducing the participants’ countries at elementary and junior high schools. All of the lectures were carried out in English so that students who had never studied Japanese could participate.
During the program, OKU students helped the international students with language support, introduced Japanese culture and socialized with them. They also participated in the classes and discussions with students in the program. In the special interactive lecture “Learning Japanese/English as a foreign language: Why do we need to practice so hard?” by Associate Professor Kenichi Hashimoto, students learned about different approaches to studying foreign language and about English language education in Japan.
Participants also visited Hirano Elementary and Junior High school, attached to OKU, as well as Kashiwara Higashi Elementary School for classroom observation. At Kashiwara Higashi Elementary School, the participants taught a class to sixth graders, telling them about classes, lunch, how students spend recess and after-school activities in their countries.
The participants spoke about their experience: “Japanese elementary school students actively answer the teacher’s questions.” “I think it’s wonderful that junior high students engage in problem-solving project work.” “It seems that the young children develop a close relationship with the teacher.” “I learned a lot about Japanese culture, language, history and education.” “Getting to know the OKU students was a great experience. I was very glad to have their support.”