2015 Activity Report

March Activity Report

March 2016
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Moriya Kumiko

On the 17th of March (Thu), the research group at Kanagawa comprehensive high school which is learning Spanish visited the Faculty of Philology, University of Salamanca. I received an invitation from the Office for International Affairs and as coordinator communicated with the teachers from Kanagawa Comprehensive High School and conducted preparation for their visit.

On the day, we met in front of the old cathedral and guided them through the lecture building of the Faculty of Philology, called the Palacio de Anaya and Hospedería de Anaya. The main lecture building of the Faculty of Philology, the current Palacio was rebuilt in the 18th century but the high school students could not hide their excitement after seeing the quaint interior. Also, some of the birds that have been building their nests over many years at the Palacio have returned to a few of the nests, it was almost as if they came to welcome high school students from Japan. At the Hospedería de Anaya which used to originally be a dormitory, I showed them around the GJO office and had them see what kind of environment work at the GJO is conducted in.

Following this, we moved to the Aulario Anayita which is the newer lecture building where an exchange session was held with 4 Japanese students who are studying abroad here at the University of Salamanca. From the high school students studying Spanish came forth a barrage a questions regarding challenges faced whilst studying abroad, enjoyable experiences, surprises in the Spanish lifestyle and other such topics. Amongst these were students who asked specific questions such as; what kind of procedures did you have to follow to be able to study abroad in Spain, what kind of classes are you taking and when you’re not in classes, how are you spending your free time. By the type of questions you could see the serious attitude of the students. After seeing the serious look in the young students’ eyes, the students studying abroad at Salamanca University responded by lively portraying the thoughts and feelings they experienced during their time studying abroad. It was a very short 30 minute activity which came to a close after the students kindly said if they had any more questions feel free to get in touch.

I regret that I was not able to talk about the teaching Japanese language in Spain. However, through this exchange event, I hope that even just a little bit, the high school students gained interest in either studying or one day working in Spain.

February Activity Report

February 2016
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Moriya Kumiko

The new semester has begun and started with the preparations for the new classes. In February the majority of the work centered on supporting the university student assistants that arrived from Japan, advice for undergraduate students planning to progress to Graduate School and preparing the syllabus for the University of Salamanca.

The new semester has begun and 2 assistants from a university in Japan have come to the University of Salamanca. They are responsible for one lesson a week that is managed by the lecturer of the Literature Department. Out of the classes I am responsible for, 2 classes a week were given to each assistant however, since they have only just arrived in Spain and still have more to learn regarding Japanese language education, I have been giving them support and advice regarding classes.

In other news, we offered support regarding which graduate school to choose, how to prepare for the entrance exam and career advice to a Japanese foreign exchange student who wants to advance to the Japanese language education Graduate School. I recommended the Graduate School at TUFS but from April they changed to the International Japan Department and do not yet seem to have a concrete image of what they want to do.

In the new semester that has just begun, I have felt that my experience in Japanese language education has been in high demand which makes this position feel very worthwhile. In regards to the creation of the syllabus, I believe this comes under the affairs of the actual department as opposed to the affairs of the GJO however; I also intend to make use of my expert knowledge in Japanese language education and will try my best at this task.

January Activity Report

January 2016
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Moriya Kumiko

Continuing on from December, this January I have gathered together information by conducting a survey on classes and courses you can take as part of the University of Salamanca’s study abroad program and the university’s facilities, accommodation and cafeteria. There are currently 16 study abroad destinations as part of the University of Salamanca’s study abroad program. I was able to conduct a survey with all of them in both Japanese and English and compiled together 55 pages of information in English. I printed them out and listed the Japanese programs along with their classroom numbers. I would like to use this as reference in the future for students who are thinking of studying abroad.

I consulted with many students on things like learning Japanese and studying abroad. One student who wants to learn Japanese was told by his family to study engineering, so he’s unable to find the opportunity to learn it. I told them to have a serious conversation with their family, and that if they had any worries to come into the office whenever they like. Another student wants to study abroad in Japan in summer, but they aren’t well financially, and were told by their parents to work while they are over there. I told them that it is quite a difficult situation, but I also understand that money, individual circumstances and other worries are a problem for a lot of students who wish to study Japanese or study abroad in Japan. As a member of the GJO there might be little I can do, but I want to support students with whatever they need help with, listen to their worries, and try to come up with a solution to the best of my ability.

The new semester begins in February, so we will be busy with class preparation and completion of the syllabus, but I would like to continue with completing the aforementioned Japan lifestyle advice documents.

December Activity Report

December 2015
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Moriya Kumiko

The opening ceremony for the Global Japan Office (GJO) was successfully held on December 2nd, 2015. The moment the ceremony had ended, many students lined up without hesitation with queries regarding studying abroad in Japan. December was compiled mostly of this support.

Students belonging to graduate schools enquired about whether or not there are universities for them to study at when overseas. In graduate schools at the University of Salamanca, you can learn the language while taking classes with a Spanish teaching assistant. There were students who said they would definitely want to participate in going to Japan to learn Japanese. We also received help from the Office for International Affairs who had students complete a survey, but it wasn’t a sign-up survey. I hope exchange between both Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and the University of Salamanca can continue in this positive light.

There was also an enquiry from two other students asking if there is a good graduate school in Japan where one can research Japanese. We received help from the Office for International Affairs on this issue too and together introduced the TUFS International Global Studies Research Program. But because the students’ Japanese level is still at the beginner stage, we recommended they first study Japanese for one year before taking the course. I want to help students advance down the route they wish to take even if only a little.

I want to finish the introductory forms on the study abroad partner institutions of the University of Salamanca in January and I would like to become more helpful to promote students studying abroad in Japan.

November Activity Report

November 2015
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Moriya Kumiko

Information regarding study abroad destinations has been compiled for exchange students hoping to study abroad in Japan. Preparations for the opening ceremony of the Global Japan Office (GJO), which will take place on December 2nd and be headed by vice dean Ana of the University of Salamanca, are being made in liaison with the Office for International Affairs.

The preparations for the opening ceremony are reported as follows. The ceremony was held within the Literature Department, where Salamanca Vice-President Maria, TUFS President Tateishi, and guest visitor, the head of The Japan Foundation, Madrid gave their greetings, before the GJO held the opening ceremony.

After the luncheon, both an explanation of the GJO, provided by President Tateishi, and a class given by the head of the Japanese Language Centre’s (JLC) Itou Centre were held at the Aula Magna in the Literature Department’s great hall. Talking to the students, the head of the Itou Center introduced translations by Natsume Soseki and Futabatei Shimei on how to say “I love you” in Japanese, and while discussing how important ‘backchannels’ are in Japanese, they also spoke about the fun of learning the language. Despite the students having studied Japanese for only two months, they listened to the talk intently with great interest. At the end of the talk, a number of quizzes were set. Students whose answers were correct would receive a bag with an illustration of TUFS mascot Tobita-kun inside as a present, so everybody was raising their hands enthusiastically to get the right answer. The final question was difficult, asking “Who is the university president at TUFS?” But a certain student raised their hand immediately and answered “President Tateishi”. Both the head of the Itou Center and President Tateishi himself expressed surprise upon hearing this, and a great round of applause was given in the hall.

President Tateishi, the head of the Itou Center and the students who won quiz prizes gathered together for a celebratory photograph at the end of the event. It was no doubt a rewarding experience for the students who had just started learning Japanese as they were able to follow the talks that were given.

There was a Japanese class to be held by me after the opening ceremony and class by the head of the Itou Center, but the students were all engrossed in conversation confidently using the backchannels they had learnt, such as “Is that so?”, “Really?” and “That’s great!”, so it became a much more lively class than usual.

The activities of the GJO are becoming more and more, but the first thing to think about is gathering information for students hoping to study abroad in Japan and confirming the whereabouts of their individual exchange trips.