Sharing experiences

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Students, professors, researchers, and staff participating in programs that contribute to the advancement of international society tell their stories, and share their experiences.

From participants in the 2017 "International Program on Resilient Society Development under Changing Climate"

Tahmina Sultana, Faculty of Engineering, Kasetsart University

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There were several things I enjoyed. I had face-to-face conversations with experts who delivered lectures and with participants who shared their experiences about problems relating to disasters. I think this is better than just learning through textbooks or reading papers about disasters in other countries.

The RSDC program brought me invaluable knowledge and experiences concerning natural-disaster issues, focusing on disaster risk mitigation, recovery, and reconstruction. Specifically, it opened my understanding on how to handle many situations when disasters occur: before, during, and after. We attended an internship program conducted by Newjec Inc, which was a very impressive experience for me.

In Japan, we visited the Amagase Dam site, where I learned about measures to control floods under a changing climate. In Thailand, the field visit to Ayutthaya and Samut Prakhan provinces added much to my learned theories and information. It made me realize the importance of having a broader view and increased my sensitivity to the many factors that are involved in handling natural-disaster problems.

Through this program, I made countless memories with new friends from different backgrounds. I learned important information about their language and their culture, including their customs in daily life. We might have been together for a short time, but we built a strong bond, understand each other, and keep in touch.

Aulia Febianda, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University

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Overall, I think it was a wonderful and meaningful experience for me to join this program since I was able to meet many friends from various countries and backgrounds. I also gained a lot of interdisciplinary knowledge, particularly from the case studies of some disasters in ASEAN countries. In addition, through the field trip, I observed how serious the impact of climate change is. Also, I learned many things through group discussion, since we were able to share our knowledge and opinion with other students.

I believe that some knowledge that I learned from this course is useful to my research, particularly the class which is related to flood and water resources. Also, since I am engaged as a volunteer in disaster prevention education in Indonesia, I can make use of the lesson learned from this class and share this information to increase the awareness on disaster mitigation of other people as well. The RSDC program gave me a valuable experience where I can make many friends from ASEAN and Japan. Through the group discussion, I realized everyone has a different way of thinking, and it was really a good opportunity to learn from each other since we could come up with more creative solutions as a group. After this program, I am motivated to participate in other international activities in the future as I want to improve my English skills, discover new things, have more creative skills and international network, and broaden my way of thinking.

Read more from the program through its RSDC Newsletters.

From a member of École de Kyodai

Kazuya Kotani, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University

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École de Kyodai is one of the students circles in Kyoto University. The main goal is to address environmental issues bringing together students, teachers, companies, and local residents.

Among the things we do, for example, we have a project called Blue Seafood. This promotes the consumption of fish coming from sources that are plentiful and not endangered, and that use fishing methods that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. We are proud to say that you can eat Blue Seafood menu in Socho-curry1, at the cafeteria Camphora on the main campus.

As an activity in this year, we join Jikatsu Project2 to achieve SDGs in the world, Japan, the city of Kyoto, and Kyoto University, in many groups.

My first motivation to join the project is exploring my interests beyond my research topic. I am interested in welfare. I think the welfare system in Japan has many problems. Moreover, Japan is one of the most aging and de-population countries, but many students who were born in urban areas do not even notice this is happening. I want the young to pay more attention to related topics and news. Through our studies, discussions, and presentations, I try to tell the story, to share many and complex issues with others through simple ways.

1 "Socho" means university president and it is a curry brand sold at the University.

2 "Jikatsu" describes activities that promote awareness and work towards a sustainable society.