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International students shine at inaugural Japanese speech contest

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February 8, 2019

Organized by Tokyo Tech's Student Association for Global Exchange (SAGE)outer, the 1st Japanese Speech Contest for International Students was held at Ookayama Campus on December 15. 1st-year student Yu Jiayi from China and doctoral student Mateusz Bysiek from Poland shone the brightest at the inaugural event.

Group photo of participants, judges, and SAGE organizers

Group photo of participants, judges, and SAGE organizers

The competition was divided into two categories: Beginner and Advanced. The former, intended for students who have lived in Japan for one year or less, focused on "the things I learned after coming to Japan." The topic of the latter, aimed at students with over one year of Tokyo Tech study experience, was "Science and technology in Japan and the world from the eyes of a Tokyo Tech student."

Snapshots from speech and Q&A session

Snapshots from speech and Q&A session

Snapshots from speech and Q&A session

Judges listening to speeches
Judges listening to speeches

The participants — 10 students from South Korea, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Poland — wowed the audience with a variety of approaches, ranging from the cherished anime character Doraemon to cutting-edge AI technology. The judges' panel, consisting of Tokyo Tech Alumni Association Executive Director Masaji Kaneshima, Professor Masashi Shirabe, and Associate Professors Reiko Sato and Junko Morita from the Institute for Liberal Arts, were all equally impressed by the language skills and novel ideas exhibited by the participants.

Beginner category

 
Name
Academic year
Nationality
Winner
Jiayi Yu
1st year
China
Runner-up
Tam Weng Ying
Master's 2nd year
Malaysia
Achievement Award
Mingqin Xu
Master's 1st year
China
 
Min Seo Choi
Research student
South Korea

Advanced category

 
Name
Academic year
Nationality
Winner
Mateusz Bysiek
Doctoral 3rd year
Poland
Runner-up
Augie Atqa
3rd year
Indonesia
Achievement Award
Yoonhak Nam
Research student
South Korea
 
Sangeun Yeom
Research student
South Korea
 
Jungdae Lee
Research student
South Korea
 
Yimin Liu
Master's 1st year
China

While providing international students with a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate their Japanese speaking skills, this event, supported by the Tokyo Tech Alumni Association and the Student Support Division, also aimed to highlight the diverse mix of cultures that make up Tokyo Tech's student body.

Comments from winners and a project leader of the contest

Jiayi Yu, winner of the Beginner category

Jiayi Yu

The theme of the speech contest was "The things I learned after coming to Japan."

It gave me an opportunity to think seriously about the meaning of coming to Japan and about my future. The speech contest not only gave us opportunities to use Japanese, but also helped us deepen our thinking. I welcome everyone to join our SAGE activities!

Yu is a 1st-year student learning basic knowledge for studies about applied chemistry in the 3rd Academic Group.

Mateusz Bysiek, winner of the Advanced category

Mateusz Bysiek

Writing and giving this speech was a very important experience for me. I learned a lot about the Japanese language while discussing various language issues in my script with my friends. Additionally, preparations prompted me to revisit some challenging topics and face some difficult experiences I had in the past.

My reason to participate in this contest was to convey an important message to my friends. I'm very grateful and also very surprised that my speech won. It indicates that other people are also thinking about the same issues, and that my message was understood.

Bysiek, a 3rd-year doctoral student in Computer Science, is focusing mainly on the study of computer simulation.

Yuma Hamano, project leader

Yuma Hamano

I witnessed international students expressing their opinions in a foreign language passionately through this speech contest.

I realized the importance of expressing opinions using foreign languages, as the participants did, and how it will be necessary not only when I study abroad but also when I communicate with foreigners in the future.

Also, the contest demonstrated to me the excellence of the Japanese language and made me perceive Japanese culture more deeply, as a Japanese student.

Hamano, a 1st-year student in the 2nd Academic Group, is learning the fundamentals of material science in the Academic Group 2.

Contact

Student Association for Global Exchange (SAGE)

Email sage.tokyo.tech@gmail.com

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