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Nov 25, 2022
On Saturday, November 5, 2022, ZHAO Xianghao (Asia Pacific Studies 4th year, China) won the Japanese Speech Contest by International Students held by the University Consortium Oita at Oita City’s Oita World Festa. In the contest, the international students of Oita spoke about their everyday thoughts and experiences in Japanese.
Zhao based his speech on what he has learned from his volunteer work in disaster prevention in Japan. In the speech, he addressed how international students lack awareness about disaster prevention and have trouble accessing information about disasters. As a result, when a disaster does occur, he pointed out, these students cannot make important decisions and cannot even imagine what to bring to an evacuation shelter or how it is there. Therefore, Zhao suggested that organizations and local governments that welcome international students should build institutions where internationals and Japanese can study about disaster prevention together as well as cultivate disaster prevention communities in which people can help one another regardless of nationality. For the content of this speech and his proficiency in the Japanese language, Zhao was awarded the top prize.
＜Comment from ZHAO Xianghao＞
My speech’s theme was internationals and disaster prevention. I summarized and expressed my thoughts while volunteering in disaster relief up until now. I am so pleased to have won. I am also so grateful to Associate Professor TERAJIMA Hiromichi for his guidance. If it wasn’t for his supervision, I don’t think I would have made it this far.
Beyond the contest, I hope that everyone who listened to the speech will recognize the importance of disaster prevention education for foreigners, and I hope that more foreigners will become even more active in accessible disaster prevention activities.
At APU, we believe that communication is a necessary first step to international understanding, and that language is one of the many tools that makes this possible. Therefore, we provide the best classes and environment for learning languages and improving communication skills. Japanese language classes for international students enrolled on an English basis are divided from Beginner I to Advanced into 6 levels.