Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University



Local Encounters in Kyushu –'FIRST' Program Participant Talks about His Experience:


Dec 27, 2010

On November 20 – 23, 2010, the Freshman Intercultural Relations Study Trip (FIRST) Program for international students was held. Over the course of the 4-day program, nineteen international students travelled to different towns and cities in Kyushu conducting research and questionnaires. One of the participants, Magnus DAHL (APS1, Norway), spoke about his experience of the program.

Traveling to Fukuoka City, Iizuka City, and Arita Town, his group conducted questionnaires and research into the views of elderly people towards retirement. Magnus commented on the experience: "the trip took us out of the classroom and into an authentic environment which gave us the opportunity to speak with members of the Kyushu community. Talking to seniors in local eateries, strolling and chatting in local parks", he insisted "was an amazing place to meet people you wouldn't normally encounter. Although it's called the 'FIRST' program because we are all first year students, I also think it has this name because of the many things we experience for the first time. For example, I ate 'natto' and 'sashimi' for the first time".

Magnus also spoke of the experience in terms of its impact on his Japanese skills: "Having a Japanese native speaker Teaching Assistant (TA) with us 24 hours a day was just like having our own personal Japanese teacher by our side". In addition to the opportunities to improve his Japanese language skills, Magnus also spoke of how the first-hand experience of planning, team-work and interacting with local citizens had "whet my appetite for more programs in the future".

On Wednesday, December 22, Magnus's team attended the North-Beppu Rotary Club regular meeting and delivered a report on behalf of the FRIST program for international students. The FIRST (Kyushu) program continues to receive the support of the North-Beppu Rotary Club.

As part of the APU 'Active Learning' programs that emphasize the importance of practical learning experiences both within Japan and overseas, the FIRST program for international students aims to help students establish study goals and promote their awareness of different cultures by offering them the opportunity to experience the culture and society of Japan.

Please follow the link below for an article about the 'Results Presentation for the FIRST Freshman Intercultural Relations Study Trip'

Reporter, Student Press Assistant (SPA): INTUVISANKUL Chairit(APS2, Thailand)

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