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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Exchange Program “Kakehashi Project” provides an opportunity for our students to interact with undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S.

Mar. 30, 2024

In front of the Academy Common

The Kakehashi Project, which is promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and run by the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE), is a program to promote understanding of Japan. As part of this project, twenty-four Asian undergraduate and graduate students from eighteen American universities (Harvard University, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, etc.) were invited to the Surugadai Campus on March 13, where they interacted with nineteen students from four schools and one postgraduate course of Meiji University.
The students attending this program are recommended by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), an organization that promotes the social participation of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. The aim of the program is to have the students visit Japan and deepen their understanding of Japanese culture and society through person-to-person interactions and observations.
Under the leadership of NAKAYA Chiharu, a Senior Assistant Professor of the Organization for International Collaboration, the event started with a welcome address by KIKUCHI Masao, Director, International Student Center, and a greeting from CHUN Joshua of New York University, the representative of the American students. Then, the students divided into five groups and went on fieldwork in three areas: the neighborhood of Meiji University (University Museum and Contemporary Manga Library), Akihabara, and Kanda/Jinbocho. After introducing themselves and sharing interests in each group, the students discussed the places they wanted to visit, checked the access and the time required, and then left the Academy Common. After ninety minutes, they returned to the classroom for a group presentation, sharing their favorite photos. The theme of the presentation was “What resonated with you the most?” The American students introduced the spots that their group visited and their discoveries, expressing their surprise and excitement, sometimes adding humor. It seemed to have provided an opportunity for Meiji students to think about Japanese culture and society again. Twelve students attended the optional lunch party. They had lunch at the school cafeteria on the 17th floor of Liberty Tower, and for the closing of the event, they went up to the 23rd floor to enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji.
Although it was just a half-day program, the participating students commented as follows: “I got to talk with people I don’t usually get involved with, so it was really fun,” “The presentations allowed me to experience what other teams had experienced,” “I would have liked more time for group activities.” The experience of working on something together across different cultures and languages through communicating in English was a valuable once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students.

Meiji University Kakehashi Project | Facebook
JICE's International Exchange Programs | Facebook

Japanese version

Presentation the results of fieldwork

At the Meiji University Museum