2019 Kyoto Summer Program held for East Asian and German students (30 July - 9 August 2019)

18 Oct 2019

      From 30 July to 9 August, the Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences (ILAS) implemented the 2019 "Kyoto Summer Program for East Asia and Germany Students with KU Students", with 28 selected students taking part from Peking University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, National Taiwan University, Yonsei University (South Korea), and three German universities — the University of Goettingen, the Technical University of Munich, and the University of Bonn. This short-term study-abroad program was organized in cooperation with the Asian Studies Unit, and supported by Kyoto University as one of the Wild & Wise Collaborative Learning Programs.

      The Kyoto Summer Program was originally launched in 2012 for Peking University students, but was expanded in 2016 to include participants from three other East Asian institutions. This year marked the second time that it welcomed German students as well.

      The curriculum is primarily aimed at developing understanding of the political, cultural, historical, social, and ecological issues facing Japan. It is also designed to highlight Kyoto University’s unique academic climate and cutting-edge research facilities, so as to encourage an interest in studying here for an extended period of time.

      Eighteen Japanese KyotoU students, selected from a large pool of candidates, joined the program as "supporters", promoting intercultural exchange through joint participation in lectures and other activities. They even planned some of the activities to hone their planning and management skills.

      The curriculum featured four levels of Japanese language classes, as well as a wide range of lectures delivered in English by prominent faculty: "Sensing Technology-Based Food Production and Loss Reduction for a Projected 9-Billion Global Population" by Professor Naoshi Kondo of the Graduate School of Agriculture, "Aesthetics and Sensitivities of the Japanese as Seen Through Classical Japanese Literature" by Associate Professor Shikiko Yukawa of ILAS, "Evolution of the Human Mind as Viewed Through Studies of Chimpanzees" by Distinguished Professor Tetsuro Matsuzawa of the Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study (KUIAS), "High Economic Growth and Minamata Disease: The Fight for Certificates Officially Acknowledging Victims of Methylmercury Poisoning" by Program Specific Assistant Professor Reiko Iida of the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies (ASAFAS).

      The program also offered off-campus activities to deepen understanding of the culture and tradition of Japan and Kyoto from multiple perspectives, including visits to:

      • Nabel Co, Ltd, a leading domestic manufacturer of egg packers, and Panasonic Museum, both home to state-of-the-art industrial technologies
      • Lake Biwa Canal Museum in Kyoto
      • Shiga Prefecture, where in one day, participants toured Hikone Castle, attended a lecture by University of Shiga Prefecture (USP) Associate Professor Naoshige Goto on the "Environment of Lake Biwa: Formation of Large-Scale Oxygen-Deficient Waters", conducted microscope observations of Lake Biwa's water samples, and cruised the lake aboard USP's research vessel

      The two-week program concluded with final-day presentations by all the participants.

      The organizers hope to continue offering this and similar programs for years to come, so as to foster intercultural exchange and mutual understanding among future leaders.

      Lecture by Professor Kondo

      International and Japanese students working together during the intermediate Japanese-language class

      Aboard a research vessel on Lake Biwa

      Final presentation

      Receiving the certificate of completion from ILAS Director Hisashi Miyagawa

      After the closing ceremony

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      2019 Kyoto Summer Program held for East Asian and German students (30 July - 9 August 2019)
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