2016 Activity Report

February Activity Report

28 February 2017
Taiwan Office coordinator
Nakanishi Daichi

In general, to Japanese people Taiwan has a strong image as a tropical country, but during the year, while they may be fairly short, there are periods that one could call summer and winter. As the cold of winter begins to decline, the winter holiday ended for the students in the second half of February, and they gradually began to return to the campus. Now, at the end of February, the bustle and the weather of spring has fully returned to the campus.

The new term at Tamkang University is in line with the Lunar New Year, and began from the middle of February. From the opening day of term, familiar students showed their faces at the GJO office one after another, and as well as being happy to see them again and that they took the trouble to visit the office, I felt all the more tense as could feel their anticipation for the office’s activities.

Also, last term I planned events and carried out many different activities. So, once again I asked the students who came to the office what kind of things they hoped for from the GJO office. Perhaps because they liked last term’s activity on different countries’ games so much, there were many saying that they wanted to learn about the differences between games that exist in both countries such as Japanese chess and mahjong. Both are national games in Taiwan, and in particular mahjong can be played by both children and adults, and it seems that the students were eager to learn the Japanese rules and spread them to other people. In addition, there were many students who were eager to have active discussions with Japanese international students in the form of debates, and to tell each other about things like the lesser-known landscapes of each country made possible by having inter-cultural exchanges. From here, if we can plan activities based on these ideas and continue to offer a place that builds a bridge between Taiwanese and Japanese students, I think we will have fulfilled one of the goals of the GJO.

Next is a personal thing, but after working as GJO office coordinator for around a year and a half, I will be stepping down after the end of this month. If I counted all the things we achieved and could not achieve up to now and the things I wanted to do from here on, there would be many, but through my position as coordinator, I was able to have countless experiences that I otherwise could not have had. Lastly, if I can hand a good baton to my successor, I think I will have been able to fulfill my role at the GJO to the last.

I will continue to hope that, through the relationship between TUFS and Tamkang University, Japan-Taiwan relations will strengthen more and more. Now that I have reached the end of this short year and a half, I’d like to thank you very much.


January Activity Report

31 January 2017
Taiwan Office coordinator
Nakanishi Daichi

It is the end of January and the time of the Lunar New Year, and all around the city the sound of traditional musical instruments and firecrackers ring out as we greet a lively new year in Taiwan. We at the university have entered the winter holiday, and these past few days it has been quiet on campus, but at times it seems as though the usual Taiwanese heat has returned. However, perhaps because the sense that the New Year period means time off is stronger in Taiwan than it is in Japan, even the convenience stores are closed, and it’s quite a hard time for foreigners living here.

At the beginning of this month were the end of year exams, and once they were over we went straight into the winter holiday, so the GJO office hasn’t been this quiet since the summer holiday. During that time, at the start of this month I carried on from last month and held the third Chat Activity. We continued on from last month’s theme of “the games of different countries”, only this time I had the Taiwanese students tell the Japanese international students about Taiwanese games. It seems that in Taiwan, it is custom at the Lunar New Year for families to gather for a harmonious and happy get-together, and that on the occasion men, women and children all join in on playing games. So, this time the students introduced and brought along the paraphernalia for those games. They were mainly dice games, and since the rules were simple and easy to remember the Japanese students able to learn them and join in straight away. Also, since the Taiwanese students were mainly explaining the games in Chinese, it seemed like good conversation practice for the Japanese students. Amongst the hand games that the students introduced next, there were games where the Taiwanese variants used different hand gestures even though the fundamental rules were the same as in the Japanese variants, and in the end, while explaining the differences of their countries’ games to each other the students seemed to enjoy the activity all the way through.

Most of this month taken up by the winter holiday, and I expect a quiet few days at the GJO office. During this time, I hope to plan activities for the new academic term and to engage in publicity activities to make the most of the long holiday. When the students are not here, strangely I can feel the strength of their energy all the more. Now, I am looking forward to the start of the new term.

December Activity Report

31 December 2016
Taiwan Office coordinator
Nakanishi Daichi

For Japanese people, December is strongly associated with the New Year, but in Taiwan, which uses the lunar calendar, it doesn’t particularly feel like a special month. As for the New Year holiday period, aside from New Year’s Day things continue as usual, and on 31st December and 2nd January you can see people going to work and school like always. Because the lunar calendar’s New Year is a little different every year according to our calendar, to modern Japanese people who are used to the solar calendar it can be a little hard to understand. This year’s Lunar New Year begins on 28th January, so the students at Tamkang University are putting their all into all kinds of different study and activities in the final month before the winter holiday begins in the middle of January.

This month I held the second Chat Activity. This month’s topic was “the games of different countries”, and Japanese international students at Tamkang University joined in as the students introduced and tried out their countries’ games together. I plan to continue on from this activity in January, and in December the Japanese international students introduced Japan’s games to the Taiwanese students. There were things that surprised me too, such how the method of one game varied according to the home region of each Japanese international student, and that the names were also sometimes entirely different. It was an immensely interesting activity, and the Taiwanese students were engrossed in listening to the explanations. Also, there were discussions on the origin of rock paper scissors as well as mutual introductions of Japanese games and Taiwanese games that resembled them, and the time progressed harmoniously, becoming an enriching exchange for both sides. This time, the students who often come to the office invited their friends to come and join the activity. Amongst the students who came, there were some who had never spoken to a Japanese parson before, and some who showed somewhat of a shy character, but perhaps because the topic was easy to talk about, I feel that they were able to see how they could play a role voluntarily joining in the discussion and get the gist of the conversation.

Also, in addition to the beginning of the loaning of books that began last month, a new bookshelf has been delivered to the GJO. Because the books are being displayed more tidily than before, it is very popular amongst the students as it has become easier to see where books on different topics are, and the office is looking more well-ordered than ever. I have made a notebook for the loaning of books, and while there have been some bumps along the way I am slowly increasing the number of book loans. The most popular items are of course films, but occasionally students come to borrow things like technical books on economics, and I am sometimes surprised by the students’ thirst for knowledge.

Exams begin immediately after we enter the new year, and then in the middle of January we enter the winter holiday. I feel as though the term has gone by in the blink of an eye, but the management and activities of the GJO are firmly on the right track, and I feel that we have covered a fair amount of ground. Not much time remains until the winter holiday, but I hope to continue the good course of events so far and to continue having fulfilling activities.

November Activity Report

30 November 2016
Taiwan Office coordinator
Nakanishi Daichi

Continuing my reports for this term, it has got chillier here in Taiwan. Beginning with this month, 6th December is the anniversary of the establishment of Tamkang University, and the 66th anniversary ceremony was held. In Taiwan, the number 6 is a sign of luck, and so since this year is the 66th anniversary a large-scale ceremony was held. Because of this, many guests visited from places such as the partner institutions of each country, and President Tateishi Hirotaka of TUFS also came to the university to attend the ceremony. I also received an invitation as coordinator of GJO and had the pleasure of attending many different events over the course of two days. Also, President Tateishi took to the podium among others during the university presidents’ forum discussion panel and made proposals regarding education including the GJO’s activities during his speech. In addition, during the many events I was able to mingle and exchange ideas with guests from both within and outside the country and publicise GJO’s activities not only within Tamkang University but to many more people as well, which I think was an extremely valuable opportunity.

The scene at the anniversary ceremony
The University President’s visit to the GJO

As for the activities from next month on, I plan to continue the Chat Activity on the same theme next month and the month after. Perhaps because the last activity was popular, more new students have been coming, sometimes to the point where they can’t all fit in the office, but I expect to be able to advertise the activity more and to have an even more enriching activity. Also, I was asked by a teacher in the university to allow them to photograph the next activity as part of the materials for their research on conversation, and so I really feel that GJO became more well-known at the ceremony, and I think it would be good if I could little by little increase the significance of the activates themselves in that kind of way. Also, a target was finally set for opening the long-requested loaning of books, and loaning started this month. There were students coming to borrow books immediately after I sent out the notice, and I am surprised by the size of the response.

The end of the year is drawing near, and Taiwan is getting colder by the day, but being energized by the liveliness of the students coming to the office I hope to keep a strong hold on its operation.

October Activity Report

31 October 2016
Taiwan Office coordinator
Nakanishi Daichi

Two months of the new academic year have gone by in the blink on an eye, and in the past few days the autumn colours have deepened. In Taiwan’s four seasons, although spring and summer are short-lived, the central mountain range that runs from north to south of its centre you can see cherry blossoms and autumn foliage, letting you feel the change of the seasons. New Taipei City, which contains Tamkang University, has a subtropical climate, but the first sign of the season changing has been the number of students wearing thick clothes starting to increase little by little, and on campus there is a mixture of students wearing short sleeves and those wearing down jackets.

This month, I gathered Taiwanese and Japanese students together to talk about a set topic in a panel discussion-like activity called the ‘Chat Activity’. I had been doing things like putting up posters beforehand, but I has worried about whether people would come to try out the first session. However, when I began the activity so many students came that the office was jam-packed, and it became a hugely successful Chat Activity. The discussion was on the theme of ‘strange customs and cultural points of students’ respective countries’ and the aim was to allow students to talk about things that they have often questioned but don’t usually have the chance to ask about. The Taiwanese students kept on scrambling to ask questions, and the overwhelmed-looking faces of Japanese students left a strong impression on me. In this way, it was a great activity for the Taiwanese students who were asking for opportunities to speak Japanese, and I heard comments like “I’m glad I was able to speak so much Japanese” and “now I can see clearly the things I didn’t understand before”, showing how much they to enjoyed participating. In addition, I was able to hear the comment that I most wanted to hear, “I would definitely like this kind of opportunity to be set up again”, form both the Taiwanese and Japanese students, and to hear a positive opinion on future activities.

Next time will be activity number two, and I would definitely like to hold activities that continue through the second and third sessions after next month as well.

Next month will be the ceremony for the anniversary of the establishment of Tamkang University. Many guests from universities all around the world will gather in Taiwan, and President Tateishi Hirotaka of TUFS will also come to visit us here at Tamkang University. I too am to attend the ceremony as GJO coordinator. I seldom have the opportunity to attend this kind of event, so I am hoping that I will be able give a strong boost to the GJO.


September Activity Report

30 September 2016
Taiwan Office coordinator
Nakanishi Daichi

Here in Taiwan, it is not the season of budding spring leaves, but when the shrill of cicadas pierces your ears and the heat of summer still lingers that the students set out to start a new life. In these surroundings, the campus is suddenly full of liveliness with the energy of new students who still have the vitality of youth. For GJO, along with the long-awaited new academic year, the time has finally come to get to know the new students and carry out the activities that I have been planning during the summer.

This month, as well by familiar faces the GJO was visited by many new students. After asking the Japanese department at the university’s foreign languages faculty, I have been able to put posters up on the bulletin boards, put guides in offices where they will be easily accessible, and receive assistance with spreading information about the GJO. As a result, I think that its level of recognition has increased, particularly amongst new students.

At first, the students coming to the office seemed to be nervous about speaking in Japanese, but that nervousness gradually came away and we were able to engage in all sorts of conversations. They also showed a great interest in the books, and there were students who became absorbed in Japanese classics for long periods of time. In addition, the students who were studying using the edition of the textbook produced by the Japanese language school affiliated with TUFS published in Taiwan actually brought the textbook to show me, making me feel a kind of connection to the GJO office.

As for next month onwards, I am hoping to carry out the activities that I’ve been planning over the summer when time permits. First on the list is the creation of the GJO office’s chat corner. The things that students visiting the GJO have been unanimously saying are things like “I don’t have many chances to speak Japanese” and “I want to talk to Japanese people”. From that, a while ago we had the idea of making a simple ‘chat corner’ using the GJO office. So, with the collaboration of Japanese international students, I am hoping to gather students together and hold panel discussion-like meetings in the form of chat activities on a regular basis. There might be a degree of uncertainty regarding gaining the collaboration of Japanese international students, but I think it would be good if we could hold activities continually from now on. For that purpose, I will be focusing my efforts on next month’s activity and hope to lead it successfully.

August Activity Report

31 August 2016
Taiwan Office coordinator
Nakanishi Daichi

This year we have had comparatively little rain, and almost every day this month has been dry. Because there have been many days where the temperature reached 40 degrees, many people have been avoiding going out at midday, and so there have been occasions when I didn’t come across anybody when travelling to the office, even though it was midday. In the midst of this, we finally approach the end of August and rain has started to fall here and there, and now I get the impression that, although gradually, with this blessed rain the prolonged heatwave is subsiding.

At the end of this month I was able to meet with ChunChen Lin of TUFS, who was visiting Tamkang University. With Professor Lin I discussed activities to do with the link between TUFS and Tamkang University from next month and the running and objectives of the office from now on, as well as recapping the activities carried out up to now (the activities and lecture meetings held previously). I had the chance to discuss many things such as the pros and cons of the library loaning which had been requested by students for a long time and the discretion of running the GJO office, and receive answers face-to-face. I think this was a very valuable discussion to continue the smooth running of the GJO from now on.

Next month will finally be the beginning of term and the long-awaited opening of the university. The faces of new students and young people seemingly overflowing with anticipation as they look towards a new start have steadily begun to appear, and the area surrounding the school has suddenly become lively, even at night. Without forgetting the original objective of GJO of Tamkang University, I aim to always keep a close distance with students and create an office that is appealing to students, I and hope to hold many different activities.

July Activity Report

31 July 2016
Taiwan Office coordinator
Nakanishi Daichi

The prolonged heatwave in Taiwan has go on so long that every month’s activity report has begun with the same description of the hot weather. During the beginning of July, graduated students and enrolled students were changing places by moving residence, and you could see many people coming and going from apartment buildings and student accommodation. However, once the end of July came things calmed down, and now the campus and area around the school is quiet even during the daytime. Along with that, there have been hardly any students coming to the GJO office, and including this month I expect a calm few days ahead during the summer holiday.

Because of this, rather than correspondence and planning GJO activities I have been putting my efforts into public relations activities and improving the office’s user-friendliness. With regard to public relations activities, I have been making posters listing the opening times of the office and putting them up on the bulletin boards around campus. At first, because the number of students who saw these was small, their effect might have been limited, but in the several months up to now I have been newly replacing the posters, so I continued on from that. In addition, as for improving the user-friendliness of the office, I did things such as rearranging the furniture and adding Japan study abroad guides put together by the coordinator of another GJO (Salamanca, Spain). Also, so that it would be easily accessible to the students when the new term begins, I printed part of the guide out as leaflets.

I expect that next month will also be quiet, but the month after that we will be nearing the start of term, and I intend to steadily progress with the all preparation that I can do at the GJO. We will be approaching the end of the summer holiday, and I look forward to the lively atmosphere on campus.

June Activity Report

30 June 2016
Taiwan Office coordinator
Nakanishi Daichi

The other day, the Taiwanese weather station announced that the fierce heat this summer is due to continue, though from the aspect of people in Taiwan it really is scorching heat which feels like its melting your body and soul. Such days are continuing here in Taiwan. Almost like a summerhouse, the sight of students who we see on a regular basis rushing into the GJO to select publications which were shelved in March has increased. The students were mainly reading books regarding traveling and after asking why, the students answered with “because I am going to Japan this summer”. Here in Taiwan which has a long summer season, the roughly 3 month long season starts from mid-June. Many students from Tamkang University are also heading to Japan and seem to be planning to spend a fulfilling summer either traveling or studying abroad. Amongst this, we were able to provide support to the students in the form of providing information regarding Japan, although it was mostly concerning tourism.

Now then, as part of the activities for the GJO, as part of the continuous activity that we mentioned last month, on the 2nd of June (Thu) an event that tied TUFS and Tamkang University closer together through the remote system was held. The students that participated in this event were not the same students as last time and so at the beginning it seemed as though they were not able to operate the equipment very well however, they quickly became accustomed to the equipment and we could see them proactively making effort to communicate and exchange with the TUFS students.

As feedback from the students we heard such comments as “As I currently live in Taiwan, there is very little opportunity to speak Japanese so this was a very valuable experience” and “Since the students were of similar age, we were able to talk about everyday things that we can’t really about with our teachers which was good fun”. The students from the Tamkang University side seem to be feeling the benefits of the exchange.

Also, this activity was filmed from both the Taiwanese side and Japanese side and after the event will be summarized as the results for the exchange activity by the overseeing teaching staff from TUFS. I think accumulating steady activities such as this is one of the main purposes of the GJO and so from now continuing into the future we would like to proactively support such activities.

Now then, at the present time where I am writing this month’s report, Tamkang University has already entered the summer vacation period and so the university has changed from the students’ energy filling the campus to the quiet sound of insects. The GJO here at Tamkang University is scheduled to be open throughout the summer vacation period. In order to welcome the new students in the new academic year, as the GJO we are planning to proceed with preparations during this vacation period.

May Activity Report

31 May 2016
Taiwan Office coordinator
Nakanishi Daichi

The season of fresh green verdure passed in the blink of an eye and here in Taiwan, the sun continues to shine without mercy reminiscent of summer. Inside the campus, the students are all wearing summer attire and trying to keep cool have gathered in the shade of nearby trees. Before I realized, there is only a little over 1 month left before this academic year finishes. I have suddenly begun to realize that the sad and yet happy season of meeting new people and farewells has been getting closer and closer.

Now then, as for the GJO activities, the activities to be carried out through the remote system that links Tamkang University and TUFS that we announced last month, will be conducted during the first half and second half of this month.

First of all, on the 2nd of May (Mon) university students from both universities gave self-introductions utilizing the GJO office. The Taiwanese students who still get nervous just speaking in Japanese performed self-introductions in front of the camera, at the beginning some of the students were not able to speak very well. However as time passed the students warmed to each other and towards the end you could see the students enjoying themselves and asking each other lots of questions. I think it became a great opportunity for the students who didn’t even know each other’s names at first to get to know each other better.

Also, the Japanese teacher training given by students from TUFS which was carried out on the 30th of May via the remote system. Due to the fact that they have seen each other once before the activities got off to a smooth start, we did have operational trouble with the equipment which seemed to puzzle the students somewhat, but they soon got to grips with the equipment and the activity progressed without any delay under the initiative of the students. Due to restricted numbers training took the form of either one to one or one to a group. I felt that this was such a bright and cheerful event linking the students from both countries, made so by the Taiwanese students actively asking questions and the Japanese students trying their absolute best to answer them.

The activity itself was mainly designed to test the possibility of providing Japanese education via the remote system however, far exceeding this framework; it was impressive seeing the lively exchange between the students. Being able to take part in such activities has been a great experience both personally and for the GJO who is always saying such activities help to bridge Japan and Taiwan together. Also, from next month we are planning to conduct similar activities and so aim to make the following events even more interesting and beneficial for the students.

Next month will be the final month of the academic year. Summer vacation here in Taiwan is longer than that in Japan, partly due to the length of the season the vacation lasts just over 3 months. When we enter the vacation period all the students disappear so it gets a little lonely, however we intend to keep working hard down the last stretch and proceed with the remaining events and activities.

2nd May (Mon) Tamkang University Students giving Self-Introductions.

30th May (Mon) Tamkang University Students being taught by Japanese teacher training students.

April Activity Report

30 April 2016
Taiwan Office coordinator
Nakanishi Daichi

When you think of April, in Japan it is a busy month regardless whether you are at school or at work however, in actuality here in Taiwan where September marks the start and end of the academic year, the feeling of the start of a new year, meeting new people and saying goodbyes is not very noticable. For example the thoughts towards the New Year are similarly different to that of Japanese people, excluding New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day of the Gregorian calendar, the first 3 days are spent just as any other day of the year. However this is a strange feeling for Japanese people. Though I would say being able to experience these kinds of periodical and seasonal differences in feeling first hand is one of the best parts of living abroad.

Now then, partly due to the fact that the beginning of this month was spring vacation and mid-term tests took place from the middle of the month continuing until the end, the GJO had a relatively quiet month. Also, sometimes we hear such things as “What can you do at this office?” and “I heard that you can borrow Japanese language books from here” from the students that visit the office which tells us that the existence of the office is becoming well known however the role and duties of the office are yet to become wide spread. As a following prospect, it was a month that made us once again recognize the issue of how to effectively carry out advertising activity regarding the GJO.

As of what will be happening from next month onwards, as planning for this semester, students from TUFS and students of Tamkang University will use the GJO office and through the remote system attempt to further deepen relations between students of both universities. This is part of the activity planned to continue through the semester but first, next month will have the students of both universities giving self-introductions in real time using the remote system. Amongst the participants there are already students who have visited the GJO which was a happy notice for those of us at the GJO knowing that this activity is already starting to bear fruit.

In addition, the study abroad at TUFS information seminar that was held for the students of Tamkang University last year will be held again this year with the GJO playing a crucial role. Further tying both universities together through the remote system, we also plan to hold an event where we invite students who are actually studying abroad at TUFS so our students can hear about their experiences first hand. I am sure there are certain things that only people who have experience studying abroad can understand and so GJO wishes to focus on such activities in the hope we can lead them to success.

At the end of April the temperature during the daytime is already over 30 degrees. Taiwan is steadily climbing the stairway towards summer however, whilst borrowing energy from the students who seem to be completely unaffected by the May blues, we are striving to push forward our daily activities.