I would like to share with you an event I organized at TIEC.

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

At that time, around 2010, the TIEC provided an opportunity for individuals to submit proposals for events they wanted to host. If their proposal was approved, they were given the chance to bring their event to life. JASSO had issued a call for event proposals open to TIEC residents and I took advantage of this opportunity by submitting my own proposal.

I organized a student exchange program between Japanese and Chinese students. As the name suggests, it was a platform for students from both countries to come together and engage in discussions on various topics. The event was structured in a way that allowed students to exchange ideas and summarize the outcomes of their discussions. On the day of the event, participants were divided into four groups based on themes: political, economic, daily life, and cultural. Each group was given the opportunity to freely express their thoughts and engage in lively discussions.

I was the event’s representative in the end, but it was held out of necessity rather than out of my own “Let’s do it! Looking back on how it started, I recall that at the time, there were times when the spirited Japanese and Chinese students would fight over political topics during the floor party (see article #1), and that Mr. O, one of my seniors, would sometimes raise concerns about the overall events held at TIEC, so I thought it was necessary to give these students a forum. TIEC was able to hold events frequently at that time, but few of them were meaningful for international exchange. So, I thought, “Graduate students, we can have more in-depth international exchange, can’t we? Looking back, this may have been my enthusiasm.

At first, several people, mainly Japanese RAs, gathered to discuss future development, but it was difficult to decide on a policy on how to proceed. We met many times, received advice from various people, and proceeded through twists and turns. Looking back at the records of those days, we met at least 10 times to discuss the issues. I remember that it was decided during the consultations that the meeting would be held in a breakout session format so as not to be too politically oriented.

We also did not have enough staff to host the event, so we held a welcome party event for the project, welcoming new international students with Japanese and Chinese food while recruiting staff. Now that I think about it, TIEC was unique and blessed with excellent facilities (it has a large kitchen comparable to a school kitchen), low hurdles for organizing events, and the ease of getting together since we physically live in the same environment.

During the process of trial and error, a person close to the head of the Chinese students’ association, who had heard of our problems, came in to help us with our project, and that was a turning point. I am very grateful to all of them for their support. They are all active in their own worlds.
The day of the event arrived, the event was successfully held, and the contents of the event were compiled into a commemorative booklet, which was delivered to the Library of Congress. It would be too long to go into the details of the discussions at the event, so I will spare you the details, but the topic of the economic group I participated in was the active social advancement of women in China, and I found it interesting that there may be points of reference for women’s social advancement in Japan as well. If you are interested in the content of the discussion at that time, please visit the National Diet Library or contact me directly and I will share the content with you.

I personally wanted to make this exchange program an annual event, but there were some who believed that limiting it to China only was not a good idea. So, unfortunately, it was held only once. Nevertheless, I consider it to be a valuable opportunity for me to engage in direct discussions and exchange information with people from various countries, which is a rare experience in Japan.

In the next installment of this series, I will introduce the activities of TIEC’s alumni network. So, stay tuned!


TIEC and me

Categories: EN

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