Tokyo Tech News

Three international students complete Intensive Japanese Course with final presentations


Published: September 2, 2021

Three of Tokyo Tech's international students recently completed their Intensive Japanese Course, which culminated in final presentations and a closing ceremony held online on July 30. After 3.5 hours of persistent study each weekday for four months, the trio demonstrated impressive progress in their language abilities while taking the audience on unique cultural journeys around the world.

Commemorative shot of Intensive Japanese Course participants and Tokyo Tech staff

Commemorative shot of Intensive Japanese Course participants and Tokyo Tech staff

Tokyo Tech's Institute for Liberal Arts (ILA) offers short-term intensive courses twice a year to international students who want to improve their Japanese language skills rapidly. When joining the class, most students only know a handful of phrases in Japanese. Despite being held online due to COVID-19, the first course of academic year 2021 once again proved extremely effective.

At the final presentation session, participating students spoke in Japanese about the differences between Chinese and Japanese noodle dishes, the festival of Diwali, and the castles of Thailand and Japan. After each talk, presenters also answered a variety of questions from the audience. At the end of the session, all event participants voted on their favorite presentations to determine the award presented to each student.

Speakers, topics, and awards





Saksucha Submakudom

Research student, Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering

The castles of Thailand and Japan

Best presentation award

Keerthi Kireeti Vankayalapati

2nd-year doctoral student, Civil and Environmental Engineering


Performance award

Dingrui Wang

Research student, Chemical Science and Engineering

Ramen in China and Japan

Best topic award

Poster on castles of Thailand and Japan by winner of best presentation award

Poster on castles of Thailand and Japan by winner of best presentation award

At the closing ceremony, moderated by Intensive Japanese Course coordinator and Associate Professor Junko Morita, Tokyo Tech’s Vice President for Teaching and Learning Jun-ichi Imura offered the participants some encouraging words. "We are all in the midst of a harsh environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I urge you to stay positive. This is an opportune time for you to think about what learning is all about, what your friends mean to you, and what Tokyo Tech campus life can offer. I am sure that when we turn the page on this global pandemic, you will see how much you have grown through your valuable experiences."

In return, the intensive course students voiced their gratitude to their Tokyo Tech instructors and fellow students, and expressed a sense of achievement after wrapping up the course with their presentations.

Congratulatory words from Prof. Yamamoto
Congratulatory words from Prof. Yamamoto

The event concluded with a congratulatory message to the international students from ILA Professor Hilofumi Yamamoto. "Feeling a sense of accomplishment is an essential part of human life. This feeling can be found in various ways — through big, small, long-standing, or daily achievements. It is important to live every day in such a way that we enjoy this feeling in a range of situations. However, to feel a sense of accomplishment, we must first sow the seeds of accomplishment. What are these seeds? Do they exist? I think you already know. They are the challenges that we set for ourselves. At this closing ceremony today, I am truly proud of you and your accomplishments. And remember, you will not always be in the company of people who offer you praise. At such times, find a way to praise yourself. You deserve it, always. Congratulations."

Tokyo Tech's Intensive Japanese Courses

Tokyo Tech's Intensive Japanese Courses, held twice a year, are aimed mainly at Japanese government-sponsored international students looking to progress to graduate-level studies. Other students are also invited to join if capacity allows. In academic year 2021, classes have been held online to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

These courses aim to develop Japanese proficiency among beginner-level students who have just arrived in Japan. By the end of the course, each international student will have acquired sufficient language skills to make an oral presentation in basic Japanese. ILA's Japanese Section functions as "a hub for meeting and learning" for students from different cultural backgrounds, and a safe place where international students can exchange information about life in Japan.

Classes also provide excellent opportunities to come into contact with Japanese culture, for example through exchanges with local elementary schools and tours of Kamakura provided by external volunteer groups. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all these events were held online.

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