TUFS Associates Gather in Vientiane

March 6, 2018

On Thursday the 1st of March, a ‘TUFS Global Community Meeting’ (a gathering of TUFS alumni and current students spread across the world) was held for the first time in Vientiane, Laos. This meeting was held to coincide with TUFS Executive Director and Secretary-General, Mr. Katsuhisa Sagisaka, and project supervisor Professor Reiko Suzuki’s (Institute of Global Studies, Lao Language Studies) visit to the National University of Laos (NUOL) and the Embassy of Japan in the Lao DPR, a visit which aimed to further discuss the Inter-University Exchange Project (ASEAN) established between TUFS and NUOL in 2016.

On the day of the meeting, many TUFS alumni were in attendance, including head of the Tokyo Gaigokai Vientiane branch, Ms. Erise Ara (2000 graduate, TUFS Lao Department). After the signing of an exchange agreement between TUFS and NUOL, former guest faculty who taught at TUFS were able to meet again with former TUFS exchange students under the same roof, making for a nostalgic reunion. The meeting was also attended by all of the first-year TUFS students studying in Laos through the Joint Education Program’s ‘short visit’ (a short-term exchange program established as part of the Inter-University Exchange Project), and TUFS students studying in Laos on long-term exchanges, making for a total of 40 participants.

At the meeting, an explanation of the Inter-University Exchange Project (ASEAN) and the importance of ‘ASEAN +3’ was given, after which participants shared recent news concerning university and post-graduation ventures, making the meeting a stage for global information exchange that transcended both borders and generations. Mr. Sagisaka awarded former guest faculty and former exchanges students currently working as teachers at NUOL with TUFS Global Associates certificates, confirming the significance of these meetings. The meeting came to an end with participants wishing each other luck on their endeavors, and hoping to meet again.