Tokyo Tech News
Twelve international students came to Tokyo Tech from May through July 2017 under the Summer Exchange Research Program (SERP) to conduct research at the Institute's laboratories and enjoy life in Japan for three months.
Tokyo Tech's Engineering Schools — the School of Engineering, School of Materials and Chemical Technology, and School of Environmental and Society — have unique academic exchange agreements with some of the world's leading science and engineering universities, allowing them to host and send students from and to these partner universities.
Each international student in the program belongs to a laboratory and conducts research supervised by a Tokyo Tech professor. Students can also take intensive Japanese language courses, participate in site visits to prominent companies and institutions, and join various cultural and social events.
To get this year's participants acclimatized, tours of Ookayama Campus were held in early July for inbound students.
Ookayama Campus tour
After a stop at the Student Support Division and Student Division, participants were shown the training equipment and other recreational facilities at the Sports Center. Some students were slightly disappointed to learn that the cherry blossoms in front of the Main Building are not in bloom in summer. One student said he hoped to come and see them blooming again next spring, and looks forward to seeing the gingko tree by the end of his stay. The students also visited the University Co-op to purchase textbooks, and admired both the unique shape and nickname of the Ookayama Library, a.k.a. the cheesecake. A student majoring in architecture was eager to learn more about the designer. The tour ended with lunch at the First Cafeteria, where participants enjoyed the flavors of Japanese food and the challenge of maneuvering chopsticks.
As this was my first time to guide international students on campus, I was slightly nervous, but to my relief, we had a fruitful time pleasantly communicating with one another. I was delighted to see them admiring the compact shelving and facade of the library, and the meals available at the cafeteria. It seems that students participating in this tour could deepen their understanding of facilities at Tokyo Tech. I regard this kind of opportunity to meet and socialize with students from various countries as invaluable for Tokyo Tech students, and I hope to participate in similar events in the future.
Group photo at welcome party
A welcome party for SERP participants took place on July 3 at Ookayama Campus. After opening remarks and a toast by Professor Shigeki Nakagawa, director of the International Cooperation Office at the Engineering Schools, self-introductions and conversation over light snacks followed. At the end of the party, Associate Professor Tomohisa Hayakawa from the Department of System and Control Engineering, who is also a member of the working group for the Asia-Oceania Strategic Universities (AOSU) Exchange Program, gave closing remarks. Students of the AOSU program from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech) were also present to extend their friendship to the SERP participants.