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Implementation of Bidirectional Short-term Study Abroad Program (Dispatch) with Xi'an Jiaotong University

2018.04.04 Wednesday


As part of a bidirectional short-term study abroad program between the Tokyo University of Science and Xi'an Jiaotong University, which is one of the leading general science and technology universities in China, 10 TUS students and one supervising faculty member were dispatched to Xi'an from March 7 (Wednesday) to March 15 (Thursday), 2018. This program, which is in its fourth year this year, is implemented as a project of the Center for Promotion of Internationalization based on an academic exchange agreement between TUS and Xi'an Jiaotong University. Extensive cooperation was also received from Xi'an Jiaotong University's Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges.

The objective of this dispatch program is to foster an international way of thinking through experiences. Contents consist of learning about Chinese history and culture through special lectures (Chinese language, recitation of Tang poetry, culture and history of the Qin dynasty, beauty of calligraphy) and experiential learning (calligraphy, tai chi, Chinese zither), and visits to local historical heritage sites (Terracotta Army, Beilin Museum, Xi'an City Wall), as well as to the research facility of Xi'an Jiaotong University and a local Japanese corporation (Fujitsu (Xi'an) System Engineering Co., Ltd.). Exchange activities among the students were incorporated into the program, which also included observations of Xi'an and presentations on results, and friendships were built while communicating in a mix of Japanese, Chinese, and English.

For the dispatched TUS students, who were selected based on a themed essay, this was their first visit to China, and there were even some students for whom this was their first ever overseas trip. Regardless, the students actively participated in the program and saw, heard and absorbed many things. They also presented their results in English and also made presentations in Chinese, earning applause from the Chinese side. Many examples of active exchanges were observed, as the Chinese students taught the Japanese students how to pronounce words in Chinese, and partook in interviews regarding presentation topics. For these young students expanding their activities abroad, being able to become acquainted with warm and sincere Chinese teachers and many students, and being able to join them and speak without reserve was a delightful and unforgettable experience full of a sense of achievement.

The impressions of the students after returning to Japan are as follows. "Seeing is believing. I was moved by the rich experiences that I gained at "one glance," and the magnitude of impressions that I felt." "Through this program I was able to take a step out into the world, and this made me want to explore the world even more in the future." "I encountered many valuable experiences, and I am proud of having been able to participate in this program. China is a very good country." "I learned that there are countless ways to convey something, whether it is through gestures, words, or expressions. Even if I am not proficient in English, and don't understand the language, I am not afraid. Even though it may not be much, I have some courage now."

A Chinese language class. Explaining words that reflect aspects of life.
The contents were of great interest.

After listening to a traditional Chinese music performance
of the Chinese zither, the students tried their hand at playing one.

Tai chi practice. Slow movements, as opposed to kung fu.
Tai chi is a required subject at Xi'an Jiaotong University.

A visit to the Terracotta Army World Heritage Site.
Students posing as terracotta warriors.

At the Beilin Museum, the students observed many stone monuments,
outstanding works of calligraphy, and stone sculptures.

Reciting an essay in Chinese. Students who had barely studied Chinese
before gave it their best shot.

At the final report meeting, students investigated the themes
that they established for themselves, and made
presentations in English.

Enjoying their exchanges with the Chinese students.
Friends forever!