Students Visiting Tokyo and Seoul for Sophia-Sogang Festival of Exchange (SOFEX)
For Sophia-Sogang Festival of Exchange, an exchange program between Sophia and our partner institution, Sogang University in Korea, students of both universities traveled to Tokyo and Seoul from Nov 9 to 11 and 23 to 25.
SOFEX had been hosted by Sophia and Sogang University as an annual exchange with sports and cultural events since 2010 and from this year the program shifted to promote an academic exchange with more emphasis on deepening understanding neighboring nation as well as Jesuit education for students of both universities.
For this year 20 students from both universities stayed in Tokyo and Seoul for three days as a part of the course “Issues in East Asia and Jesuit Education”. Both universities has been taking a part in offering this course every Thursday and this year joint lecture by faculty members of both universities are offered on-line.
In order to promote firsthand learning students of both universities traveled to Japan and Korea to understand current issues of both countries, they visited immigrants and refugees related facilities and held active discussions through group work. Students also enjoyed courteous plans made for each other during their stay including city tours while fostering new friendships.
In Tokyo the group visited “AIA Adachi International Academy” as well as churches supporting foreigners of international communities and in Seoul they a homeless shelter as well as a center to support immigrant workers operated by Society of Jesus.
“It was a great experience to tackle a common topic together with students of different cultural backgrounds and values. The opportunity surely contributed to deepening our understanding of issues as well as broadening our horizons. And of course new encounters and friendships enriched through this program are very precious ones”, Yuka Suzuki who served as a student leader reflected of an event.