From 29 July through 11 August, the Kyoto University Asian Studies Unit (KUASU) held the "2021 Kyoto Summer Program (KUASU)" online, in collaboration with the University's Graduate School/Faculty of Letters and Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences (ILAS). The program was supported by Kyoto University under its Wild & Wise Collaborative Learning Program (2017-2021).
Participants numbered 88* and included 30 short-term international students from some of ASEAN's leading institutions — Chulalongkorn University, Thailand; the University of Indonesia; the National University of Singapore; and the University of Languages and International Studies, and the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, both affiliated with Vietnam National University — and from the University of California San Diego and George Washington University. They were joined in collaborative learning by 58 KyotoU students.
All of the participants together attended academic lectures and took part in various other activities, organized around the topics of "Japanese language and culture" and “interdisciplinary and international collaborative learning". The lectures spanned disciplines ranging from agriculture to entomology, anthropology, pedagogy, business administration, and Japanese culture and history. Other activities included Japanese language lessons, a cultural experience (Japanese calligraphy with hard brush), an overview of Kyoto University, and a virtual field trip to Gekkeikan Sake Co, Ltd. There were also regular opportunities for discussion between the international and Japanese students, who together worked on presentations and delivered them on the final day.
The Summer Program concluded successfully with overwhelmingly positive participant feedback. The organizers noted that the bidirectional exchange between Kyoto University and its ASEAN partners, and that between students at these institutions who share an interest in Asian studies, had continued to deepen despite the pandemic. This success can be attributed in part to the synergy that had developed over the years between KUASU's collaborative learning and the University's study-in-ASEAN programs.
* This number excludes the participants in another Wild & Wise Program, run by ILAS during the same period featuring the same lectures and activities.