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2019 BXAI Summer Program wraps up in Kyoto (7–21 August 2019)


03 Oct 2019


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    From 7 to 21 August, Kyoto University hosted the 2019 Bai Xian Asia Institute (BXAI) Summer Program with 84 students participating. The annual program is part of BXAI's Asian Future Leaders Scholarship Program (AFLSP), and brings together AFLSP recipients, who are students of various nationalities, for leadership training and cross-cultural learning opportunities, provided in the form of lectures, workshops, and cultural activities.

    The 2019 Summer Program began 7 August in Osaka, where welcome remarks from Professor Shinsuke Kawazoe, KyotoU's executive vice-president for student affairs and library services, kicked off a four-day session comprised mainly of lectures on leadership and teambuilding.

    On the 11th, the AFLSP scholars moved to KyotoU, to be greeted by Professor Akira Murakami, dean of the Graduate School of Agriculture, before taking part in an orientation about the University and the city of Kyoto, and going on a campus tour.

    An excursion to Gifu Prefecture followed 12–14 August, featuring workshops on public speaking and self-awareness. The trip also included visits to the Gujo Odori, a well-known bon dance festival held in the city of Gujo Hachiman, and to Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage site, enriching the students' understanding of Japanese culture.

    The scholars then returned to Kyoto for three academic sessions, held 15–17 August under the umbrella theme of "Harmonious Coexistence": 1) "Sustainable Food Systems: Smart Agriculture and Food Security", 2) "Coexistence for the Future: Urban and Rural, Humans and AI", and 3) "Innovation and Long-Standing Business: Kyoto's Long-Standing Companies". These were moderated by the Graduate School of Agriculture's four researchers: Vice-Dean Motoki Akitsu, Professor Mamoru Kanzaki, Professor Naoshi Kondo, and Lecturer Yayoi Kito. Session 2 included a lecture by Associate Professor Liang Zhao of the Graduate School of Advanced Studies in Human Survivability (GSAIS). The extensive range of topics addressed over the three days inspired lively discussion among the participating students.

    The program also offered hands-on cultural experiences, where in three groups participants made wagashi (traditional sweets), played the taiko (drum), and practiced zazen (Zen meditation).

    On the 20th, the scholars presented on the research projects they had been working on in nine groups as part of the program, and then took part in a panel discussion with Mr Ronald Chao, honorary chairman of BXAI. The topics discussed ranged from the importance of fostering cross-cultural understanding to key elements of successful leadership.

    The final day featured a lecture by Mr Jason Lai, an acclaimed Singaporean-born orchestral conductor, and a closing ceremony, which concluded with remarks from EVP Kawazoe and Professor Katsuichi Uchida, president of BXAI.

    By attending a rich variety of lectures and actively engaging in discussions over two weeks, participants developed mutual cross-cultural understanding as well as forming friendships across nationalities and other differences, with each other as well as with the KyotoU student advisors, who accompanied and supported the AFLSP scholars throughout the program.

    EVP Kawazoe delivering closing remarks

    2019 BXAI Summer Program participants

    Asian Future Leaders Scholarship Program (AFLSP)

    AFLSP was established in 2014 by the Bai Xian Asia Institute Ltd to provide young people in Asia with study-abroad opportunities, with the goal of advancing cross-cultural understanding and cultivating human capital who can contribute to regional and global peace and development. Six selected universities in Japan and China, including Kyoto University, serve as "Anchor Universities" for the program. These and several other participating institutions together host approximately 100 scholarship students each year. Kyoto University annually welcomes ten AFLSP scholars while sending two undergraduate or graduate students to one of the program's designated universities in East Asia and Southeast Asia.


    2019 BXAI Summer Program wraps up in Kyoto (7–21 August 2019)
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