Now, let me introduce you to the daily life at TIEC.

(1) About TIEC
(2) Daily life at TIEC←This time!
(3) Regular events at TIEC
(4) Events hosted during my active time at TIEC
(5) Alumni activities

As in the previous issue, please note that the information presented in this issue is from around 2010 and may include some outdated information.

Now, let us come to the main topic: What was the daily life of Japanese students at TIEC like? This is, in effect, an introduction to Resident Assistant (RA) activities at TIEC. So, what are RA activities?

According to the TIEC website, Resident Assistants (RAs) are graduate students who provide consultation, guidance, and advice to international students living in TIEC in their daily lives and studies, and actively participate in TIEC’s international exchange programs.(Japanese only)

In short, RA activities are meant to support international students and to organize international exchange events. First of all, what do RAs exactly do to support international students?

In this article, I would like to introduce the daily life at TIEC, so let me introduce the daily support.
First of all, RAs were required to submit a monthly report on the status of their fellow residents on the same floor.
The report was in the form of a Word document, with one or two lines per person, reporting on their recent activities. This means that if you lived alone, you had to know how the other residents on your floor were doing, which could be quite a challenge.

So, what was the solution? The quickest way was to have a floor party. If you had a party on your floor, you could see all the residents on your floor at once. I lived in the B wing (as mentioned in the previous post), but in the A wing, the kitchen was shared, so there were usually more opportunities for socializing.

I was going to be a serious graduate student (really!), so I thought, “No, I’m not going to have a party or anything,” but the JASSO staff member put me in my place (he said something like, “As an RA, I’m worried about you…”).
I was forced to plan a floor party. You may be thinking, “How do you get all the people living in private rooms together for a floor party?”

TIEC has a communal space on each floor where residents can gather. Most of the international students were on Facebook, so once the schedule was arranged and the party date was set, it was just a potluck, and everyone was welcome to bring their own food. It’s a great system.

What does the communal space look like? You can see it here: h

Furthermore, each floor has a different layout, design, and terrace. It was great to see how different spaces can change the way people interact with each other. Buildings and spaces play an important role in communication between people.

I digressed greatly, it was a floor party. There were 2~4 RAs on the same floor, so after discussing the date of the party with the RAs and deciding so, we contacted the floor residents (about 20 at that time) via Facebook and announced on the whiteboard in front of the elevator that there would be a party, and on the day of the party everyone would cook a random meal and gather!
Generally, we had a good time, talking about other things, reporting on what we had been up to, and inviting friends from other buildings and outside. And so the night went on. Well, enough to know what’s going on with the residents on the floor.

I hope you have found that the monthly reporting obligation of RAs can be satisfied by holding a floor party. This provides an opportunity for the RAs to check in on the status of the residents on their floor and for the residents to socialize with one another. However, it’s important to note that not all residents may enjoy parties, so it’s also important for the RAs to communicate individually with those residents.

In the next issue, I would like to introduce regular events at TIEC. Stay tuned!


TIEC and me

Categories: EN

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