TUFS Students Become Lecturers for Volunteer Training Course

September 12, 2017

On Wednesday 9 th August, TUFS students Misako Niiyama (School of International and Area Studies, Southwest European Studies, third year), Akimi Tazawa (School of Language and Culture Studies, Korean Language Studies, third year), and Mayumi Santosu (School of International and Area Studies, Latin American Studies, third year) participated as lecturers for the 'On-site Interpreting Know-hows' lecture on the second day of the three-day lecture series 'Global People and Human Resources: Aiming to be a Volunteer Interpreter' (held by the Tsuzuki Multicultural & Youth Plaza, Yokohama City Tsuzuki Ward Office), a course that aims to train volunteers and promote international understanding.

At this event, the students began by discussing their experiences as volunteers at the Olympic/Paralympic games, and then split the participants into small groups to have 'round-table' style discussions. The students talked about their experiences with language support volunteer activities in Rio de Janeiro, and the lifestyles they lived while at the games. Participants asked many questions and were eager to share their opinions.
Participants could be heard saying that they 'have a better image of what a volunteer does,' and 'I want to try work as a volunteer for the games.' There were also a few local junior high and high school students in attendance, who enthusiastically said they 'want to go to university as soon as possible and try volunteering like the students that presented today.' This event brought out many different opinions on volunteering from ordinary people, making it a worthwhile opportunity for the three TUFS students also.

Comment from Niiyama

I think there are a lot of people who are interested in being volunteers for the Olympics/Paralympics, but do not know what exactly is involved in this. I participated in this course in the hope that people would be able to form a clear image of a volunteer through this lecture. I was glad that I had the chance to talk more closely with the participants during the group work part of the lecture.

Comment from Tazawa

It was the first time I ever talked publicly about my experiences as a volunteer at the Rio Olympics, but I am very glad that I did so. I was very happy that I could help people just by telling them my experiences, and that my experiences could be directly applied to the Tokyo Olympics. Also, I felt I learnt many things as an individual. I realized that by telling your experience to others, the experience becomes more significant, making this opportunity a very valuable one.

Comment from Santosu

Besides being able to inform people on volunteer activities in Rio, I was able to talk closely with participants, ranging from middle school age to elderly, and thus this opportunity was a very valuable one for me. As the host country of the next Olympics, I think it is up to us to contribute, in any way we can, towards the preparation for the Tokyo Games in three years, and so I like to think that this course gave participants the opportunity to learn about volunteer interpreters and Olympic/Paralympic volunteers. I also hope that participants were able to grasp even a vague idea of what volunteers do, and that they will consider volunteering for other sports events too.