Tokyo Tech News
As of May 2018, roughly 1,700 international students from 84 countries and regions were studying at Tokyo Tech. In addition to their studies and research, the Institute's international students were also busy with the various events organized by Tokyo Tech's Student Global Exchange Promotion Section over the winter of AY2018.
Since last academic year, new international students have enjoyed Welcome Coffee Hours, held just after the Entrance Ceremony and Orientation. Once again in September 2018, new enrollees shared Japanese sweets, rice balls, and coffee and tea while getting to know their classmates and those already studying at Tokyo Tech. The gathering also gave new students a chance to discuss their Japanese language courses with attending Institute for Liberal Arts faculty members.
This event aimed to introduce students to the Japanese art of chigirie — hand-torn paper glued to a canvas to create a collage. The facilitator had prepared a simple sample, but the participants quickly took to their own paths by recreating images of their favorite fauna and places of interest in Japan.
The tea ceremony experience for international students has been held in collaboration with the student tea ceremony club for the past two years. The event — split into a group experiencing the ceremony as a guest and another preparing the tea — once again provided students with a chance to experience traditional Japanese culture while communicating amongst each other in both Japanese and English.
During this gathering, students created stamps using erasers, and then used those to design their own New Year's cards. For most participants, this was also the first time to pick up a calligraphy pen to write Japanese characters. While working on their creations, participants exchanged information on New Year customs and astrological traditions in their countries.
After facilitators introduced the history of the Doll Festival in Japan, participants worked together to arrange the provided set of dolls, flowers, and other ornaments on the red carpet-covered seven-level platform. The outcome was a presentation worthy of a group photo.
After a demonstration by staff on how to prepare pancake dough, students used hotplates to prepare pancakes flavored with custard cream, cream cheese, and koshian sweet bean paste. The kitchen provided another great place to unleash students' creativity.
Comments from international students
These events were carried out under the auspices of the Hisao Taki Japanese Language Supporting Project, sponsored by Tokyo Tech alumnus Hisao Taki. The Institute looks forward to providing more stimulating international exchange events in the future.
Institute for Liberal Arts
—Connecting Science and Technology with Society—
Information on Institute for Liberal Arts inaugurated in April 2016
Student Global Exchange Promotion Section, Student Support Center