Dean's message

Masahiro YOKOTA

Be open, be big!

The term “kokusaijin” (literally meaning “international person”) may have become trite. It conjures up the image of someone able to converse in English, interact, and empathize with people from many different countries. In contemporary society with its globalized flow of people, goods, and capital, these abilities are considered as a matter of course. Nevertheless, the word “kokusaijin” by no means refers solely to people who go out into the world. Karaimo Koryu, an NPO based in Kagoshima Prefecture, has been helping for some 30 years students from other countries find families to stay with in the rural areas. In a sense, these men and women who warmly welcome any and all such students into their homes, without discrimination, also represent the spirit of “kokusaijin”.
A major objective of the School of Global Japanese Studies is to increase opportunities for collaboration with people of various cultural and social backgrounds, regardless of whether this is inside or outside Japan. We want students to learn English well enough to converse with as many people as possible. We encourage them to go out into the community, travel, or study in other countries as opposed to spending all their time with peers of similar age and background, so that they can meet and acquire experience in interacting with people of different ages, language groups, and backgrounds. The rich experience provided by four years of study is a privilege accorded to university students. I urge you to take full advantage of the opportunities in the School of Global Japanese Studies and become open to diversity.

Masahiro YOKOTA
 

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