Online Welcome Reception held for exchange students

On April 5, 2021, an online welcome reception for exchange students was held organized by GL-Net (Global Network), a student volunteer group. Every year, about 300 to 400 international and Japanese students gather in the Student Dining Hall for the welcome reception to enjoy friendly exchanges. However, this year’s event was held online via Zoom for the first time, as international students are currently unable to travel to Japan due to restrictions imposed by the spread of the new coronavirus.

About 50 exchange students from all over the world, including Europe, America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, greeted each other with smiles and greetings as they were connected online. Beginning with a toast to the camera was also a unique online experience. This was followed by a presentation on Japanese traditions and culture, including an introduction to Kimono, Japanese national costume, by the student organization Wagokoro, and a demonstration by the Karate Club.

In the second half, the international students and Japanese exchange student supporters were divided into 10 groups and enjoyed exchanges. At first, the students seemed a bit nervous, but they gradually got to know each other, and the proactive students helped to create a positive atmosphere. Although it lasted only about 30 minutes, it was a great opportunity for the students to interact with each other.

Normally, the Sophia University campus is the place for open international exchanges, but unfortunately, international students were unable to travel to Japan during the past year, which has limited the opportunities for such exchanges. Under such a circumstance, this event was a very valuable for both Sophia students and international students from around the world.

※GL-Net is a student organization that organizes events to introduce Japanese culture such as one-day trips to the historical/traditional sites to promote exchange between international and Japanese students in cooperation with Center for Global Education and Discovery.

Sophia University

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