We have almost 300 international students from about 40 countries. Partner universities number over 33, and many students from this faculty study in USA, England and Asia. At the same time, our contacts with universities in Korea and Taiwan have been growing and we have many independent exchange agreements. We have some in-service teachers from foreign countries for training every year. Last year also saw the start of a new system of research study abroad.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FOREIGN STUDENT
KU 2009: Living and Studying behind the “Red Gate”
Carolina Denisse Licona, Honduras
Inservice Teacher Development Program, Faculty of Education
The vibrant residents of The International House, with their picturesque customs, security drills and cleaning shifts, make every day an instructive, cross-cultural experience. Waking up at daybreak, preparing a light breakfast and getting ready for my 8:40 Japanese Intensive Course or a meeting with my advisor is an exciting daily routine. During class, we learn useful conversation patterns, cook traditional dishes, practice calligraphy, and do many other fun things. Through a large selection of lectures and practical courses designed to foster creativity, we are offered academic excellence and personal growth skills, tools necessary to become agents of constructive revolutions back home. Also, we sometimes visit the University Primary School to help the pupils with their international understanding.
Having a meal at the cafeteria can be quite a test sometimes; at the beginning, you face unknown food, but chatting with all kinds of interesting people is priceless. After a day of studying, browsing in the library, and listening to the bands rehearsals, I just want to go back to my cozy room. I’m kind of proud of my culinary experiments given the fact that I wasn’t able to boil an egg, but living by yourself challenges you in so many personal ways. My neighbors have witnessed my culinary improvements and shared with me their own flavors. So far I have tasted food from exotic places such as Myanmar, Indonesia, and Malaysia. After practicing kanji or reviewing the day’s lesson I get to chat with others. At the game room you’ll find all kinds of sports equipment and friendly players. I am even making progress with my guitar, helped by my good Turkish friend. This and many more unforgettable experiences are stored in my heart.
Regardless of my thwarted efforts to speak some Japanese, life in and outside of school is reassuring. During weekends, there is always something great to do: festivals, shopping, travel with Japanese or international friends. All kind of adventures await. Whether I am on a school trip at a mystic national treasure, mingling with natives at the local shops, or enjoying cherry blossom picnics at Kumamoto Castle, I’m embracing this enigmatic and remarkable culture. I’m really grateful for the changes and growth that it is making in me.