* The years below means academic years. In Japan, an academic year starts in April and ends in March.
In 2023, we are planning two types of ISLs in collaboration with Symbiosis International University in India and the University of Leicester in the UK. Field trips of Chiba University students in the counterpart countries are scheduled for February 2024. The students at Symbiosis International University and the University of Leicester are supposed to visit Japan in March 2024. The application will open in June 2023. We will inform here when the application was opened.
The GRIP program in 2022 academic year started in January 2023. After the online pre-learning, 10 students from Chiba University visited the Symbiosis International (SIU, deemed university) participated Interprofessional Service Learning (ISL) for 10 days in February. In March, 10 students from SIU will visit Chiba University for about 10 days, and all participants conducted the final presentations in Metaverse.
From the post-program interviews for participating students
While preparing for the presentation, there were many questions that came up, for which we didn’t have any answer. Working together for the presentations led us to think deeper, and prepare the presentation in a very efficient way. The final presentation was also the final official meeting of us with our buddies. It was good to see them again. Moreover it was our first time using oVice. oVice was a great application and its usage for the final presentation was very appropriate. It was fun.
So my overall opinion is the GRIP program was a fantastic program. I think it gave us an opportunity to go abroad, and it gave me an opportunity to reflect on many things like I had to learn values of socialization, time-based thinking, problem-solving, all these are very important in my career as well. I have no other suggestions like this. I just wish that this moment or this memory would last a bit longer. I think just the time, rest of everything was fine.
We are now getting more confident to present ourselves in front of others also, and we are like having that thing in our behavior to cooperate with others and the knowledge we have gained from there and the things we have observed, behavioral things we have observed from there, we are trying to implement it in our behavior like the calmness, discipline – all these things we have seen in the Japanese people. (Omission) We are growing, like we are growing not only from the knowledgeable perspective, but from the personality also we are growing after this program. We are more confident now for everything.
Overall, I had a lot of fun. We don't have many opportunities to go to India, so my experience was very precious. I had a lot of experiences like visiting slums and streets that we cannot visit on an ordinal trip. I really appreciate this opportunity.
Before participating in GRIP, I thought that we, a developed country would provide support to other countries. But I figured out that the local people have their own systems, stories, and original environment. I saw that families help each other even in the slums. I felt that it is important to provide support that meets the needs of those people, rather than the one-sided support that we think they need.
When I heard about the problems of children with disabilities and children in slums in India at first, I felt a little bit sorry and thought that reducing the number of people in such situations would be the solution. However, I realized that there was a difference between solutions for society and solutions for individuals, and each person had a different aim. After all, I thought that the social structure is complicated and that the perspective of the problem changes by actually talking to the local people and people who are in the situation. (Omitted) There are times when short-term support is necessary, but there are times when it ends up being useless. So, now I think that it is important to address social issues with a long-term, final goal in mind.
I was surprised that Indian students were surprised by the number of elderly people in Japan, and I learned about support for homeless people in Japan through joining field studies of Indian students in Japan. I wouldn't have been able to experience these on my own. Therefore, I am thankful for the opportunity to learn with SIU students even in Japan.
It was quite hard to make a presentation as a group with students from other departments and different grades. But I also enjoyed listening to people who were different from me. I think it's good that I've changed from the feeling of “I have to talk to someone different from myself” to thinking “The studies in other faculties also look like fun.”