Students of the Department of German Literature together with students from Heinrich Heine University have launched online exchange platform

Sixty participants from both universities engage in language learning and cultural exchange
Students from both universities pose with the “O” of Online

Starting in the spring semester of 2021, Sophia students from Department of German Literature of Faculty of Humanities and students from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, our partner university in Germany, have launched an exchange platform for language learning and cultural exchange.

Department of German Literature has introduced an overseas study program that allows students to study German intensively at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf during the fall semester of their second year, and several students have studied abroad in Germany every year so far.

However, due to the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus worldwide, we have been forced to suspend the program for students studying in Germany as well as accepting students from Germany. As an alternative plan, faculty members from both universities have been preparing for an online exchange program starting in 2020.

As a result, a decision was made to open an online “Japanese Intermediate/Advanced Online Learning Course” and “German Intermediate/Advanced Online Learning Course” at both universities starting this semester. A platform for exchange between German students studying Japanese and Sophia’s students studying German has been set up, with a total of 60 students, 30 from each university, participating. The students will be in charge of organizing and running the course.

A kick-off meeting was held on April 9, where 30 students from both universities participated and introduced themselves. The first course was then held on April 10 and 11. The students who participated in the course said, “The students from Düsseldorf University were very active in speaking Japanese with us. They are very interested in Japanese culture, and I am glad to have the opportunity to interact with them.”

Associate Professor Yuri Komatsubara of the Department of German Literature talked, “Unlike in the classroom, where students are confronted with grammar books, I was really excited to see how the students were vibrantly engaged in the exchange. Although the situation is difficult due to Corona, if there is a simple but passionate desire to learn about other cultures, we can overcome any challenges. This project is only for the spring semester for now, but we are considering to continuing as a place for exchange in the future according to the students’ needs.”

Sophia University

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