2019 Activity Report

January Activity Report

January 2020
Global Japan Office Coordinator

Happy New Year! Finally, this year is the year of the Tokyo Olympics. “The Olympics” was chosen as the theme of the Japanese Language Speech Contest here. The attention paid to the Tokyo Olympics is increasing day by day.

Shanghai International Studies University will begin its new academic year in September and have a long vacation after the end of the final exams in January. This is the halfway point of the year. During this time before exams, I saw many students staying late in the classrooms to study. Good luck, everybody! It will be a happy holiday after the exams. This break includes the Chinese New Year’s holiday, or “Spring Festival”. Students seem to have many plans such as going back to their parents’ home, working as an intern at a company, or traveling. When classes resume, I would like to hear what they all did during the holidays!

News of the new coronavirus came in just before the holidays. The number of people infected with the disease, which occurred in Wuhan, China, is increasing in Shanghai. In response to this, we received news that our university will also take measures to extend their holidays. I just hope it will be resolved as soon as possible.

December Activity Report

December 2019
Global Japan Office Coordinator

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Shanghai International Studies University. The Japan Institute of Culture and Economics also celebrated its 60th anniversary, with a commemorative ceremony held on Sunday, December 8. President Hayashi and Professor Sawada participated from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. At the 60th anniversary ceremony of the Japan Institute of Culture and Economics, I, the coordinator, and the students performed the “paprika” dance which was presented at the rice ball contest in October. After the ceremony, the final exams began. The lively atmosphere changed to test mode on campus. The students switched their mindsets and studied hard.

President Hayashi making a speech at the 60th anniversary ceremony

Shanghai International Studies University has students from all over the world, including many from Japan. There are currently two exchange students from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Ms. Yuri Suzuki and Ms. Haruka Suzuki, who have been studying since this fall, usually take classes at Hongkou campus near the center of Shanghai like many other foreign students. On Friday, December 13, the 2 Japanese students visited Songjiang Campus. Compared to Hongkou Campus, Songjiang’s campus in the suburbs is huge. When they first came to Songjiang campus, they were surprised at the size. After interacting with the Chinese students at the GJO office, they were guided by the Chinese students around the campus, visiting buildings such as the library and the cafeteria. As the campuses are far away from each other, it is difficult to have opportunities to interact, but we would like to continue our exchange activities on a regular basis.

Ms. Huang Xueyi (center), who led the tour of the Songjiang campus, and the TUFS students

November Activity Report

November 2019
Global Japan Office Coordinator

It is getting colder day by day. The trees on the Songjiang Campus have completely changed color and you can feel that autumn has deepened. This month, there were many events, such as speech contests and conversation contests, where students presented their daily learning outcomes, and the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) was held in early December, so the students worked harder.

1. Speech Contests

In October and November, there were many opportunities to show the results of learning Japanese such as speech contests. Every weekend there was a competition somewhere in China. I will report the results of the two tournaments held in November.

In the “Cross-Strait Japanese Speech Contest” held on November 8, second year student Ms. Gu Yi represented Shanghai International Studies University. The topic of her speech was “Plastic Surgery”. It was a difficult topic, but Ms.Gu memorized her well-edited manuscript perfectly. She was able to win second place. Congratulations!

On November 16, the “CASIO Cup Speech Contest” hosted by Shanghai International University was held at the Hongkou Campus. This contest does not have pre-determined topics, but rather has contestants give an impromptu presentation of their opinions on the topic presented on the day. The topics announced on the day were “the Olympics” “pets” “natural disasters” and “multicultural symbiosis”. The topics were very thought-provoking, but all the participants were able to express their thoughts and opinions in Japanese beautifully.

2. Conversation Competition

On November 14, a conversation competition for 2nd grade students was held. There are six classes of second grade students, and so they competed with each other by making plays from the results of their daily studies. Most of the classes created their own scripts and practiced hard in between classes for the day. The students’ plays were all very interesting. This year’s winner was Group Five’s “Mother’s remote control”. A mother who tries to control her unruly son with a remote control – This was the story of a mother and a son. It was a thought-provoking story, and the acting of the two main actors was good, so I couldn’t help but get sucked into it. Also, Group Six performed a scene from a famous Chinese historical drama in Japanese, and the costumes and props were so elaborately designed, it was really worth seeing. In the end though, every class was excellent.

Group six’s play. A scene from a famous Chinese historical drama

3. TUFS Library

I cleaned the TUFS Library at SISU with the students. In this comfortable room with a large desk and chairs, we would like to hold reading sessions and Japanese language counseling. Please look forward to it!

Cleaning finished! The now clean library

October Activity Report

October 2019
Global Japan Office Coordinator

The climate of Shanghai is very similar to that of Japan. The effects of the typhoon that ravaged Japan in early October also reached here in Shanghai. In China, the first week of October is a national foundation holiday called National Day. This year marks 70 years since the People’s Republic of China was founded. Grand events were held in various places despite the effects of the typhoon. When this holiday ends, the university enters event season. A “rice ball contest”, which all the students are looking forward to, and a speech contest, which shows the results of daily Japanese language study, will be held. Today I will write about the general affairs and preparation regarding these events.

1. Rice Ball Contest

An event called the “Rice Ball Contest” was held on Thursday, October 17. This event is one of the most looked-forward to events of the year. The purpose of this event is to experience Japanese food culture by eating onigiri, but that’s not all students get out fo this experience. This “Rice Ball Contest” is held with the support of The MONOGATARI Corporation, one of the Japanese companies that has expanded into Shanghai, and so the students also look forward to interacting with the Japanese employees while eating rice balls. The employees will come up with activities that the students can enjoy. Of course, not only the employees do this, and the students also thought of a fun performance. Coordinators also prepared and practiced for the students’ performances. This year’s performance from the students was a dance to “Paprika” the cheering song for the Tokyo Olympics. It was a short training period, but we managed to make it look alright, and we were able to liven up the venue.

2. Preparing for the Speech Contest

In preparation for the “Across the Taiwan Strait Japanese Speech Contest” to be held on November 8, I have been practicing with the 2nd grade student who will represent the university in this contest. The subject of his speech was “The Propriety of Plastic Surgery”. It’s a difficult subject, but I helped them rework it many times until we finished the manuscript. Now, they are practicing to read from their heart so that their pronunciation will be more Japanese and their ideas will be conveyed. I want the students to do their best so that they can reap the fruits of their efforts. I will report the results of the speech contest in next month’s activity report.

September Activity Report

September 2019
Global Japan Office Coordinator

Nice to meet you all. My name is Takada Mayu, and from this month onwards I will be replacing Suzuki Yuki as the GJO Coordinator of Shanghai International Studies University. I will continue to write about the activities of the GJO here at SISU, and the progress of the students studying Japanese.

The students studying Japanese at SISU belong to the School of Japanese Studies. The School of Japanese Studies is more or less like Japanese departments at Japanese universities, except, as the Chinese name suggests, students also learn about Japanese culture, economics and society. SISU has two campuses, one in the Hongkou district, and one in the Songjiang district. The School of Japanese Studies is at the Songjiang Campus. When you exit the metro and look at the town sprawling around you, it does look very new, but Songjiang nonetheless has a history. This town has gone through much redevelopment, and is rich in rivers and greenery. Like the town, the SISU campus is spacious and abundant in nature. The castle-like building pictured below is the SISU Library. Yes, this building is just one library. There are many other large buildings like this spread across the campus.

The academic year begins in September at SISU. This month was a new start for many, with new students beginning university and current students advancing to the next year of their programs. In the Japanese class, I gave students the topic of “mobile payment” and gave them the task to write a piece on “teaching Japanese exchange students how to use Alipay”. The students had no time to prepare, and I got them to look up words they didn’t know as they wrote, but they all did very well. I thought that the structures they used to frame their explanations were appropriate for the task. I’d like to show one of the pieces a student wrote.

(As written by the student)
Hello everyone. Today I will explain about Alipay. Alipay is a mobile payment app. Now, mobile payment is standardized all over China, and we have become a cashless society. It is actually more inconvenient to use cash, and so I would like everyone to use this app now that you’re all in China. Therefore, I will give a simple explanation on how to use Alipay. First, you download the app and register an account. Next you put in your card information and set a payment password. These two steps allow you to use Alipay. You can choose from two different payment methods. The first is the “Barcode Payment” in which the merchant scans the customer’s Alipay barcode. The second, “Merchant QR Code Payment”, is used often in restaurants and small stores. This method requires the customer to scan the merchant’s QR code that is displayed on a sticker in the store, and input the price they are paying. Alipay is convenient, has guarantees for security, and is an easy to use app.