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Preparatory Study Group Session for the Vietnam Study Tour


(Scene1 from the session)

On August 5, we had the opportunity to hold a study group session to prepare for our Vietnam study tour in September on the theme of “Convivial Global Society (Practice).” Three Vietnamese students from Hanoi National University of Education, who are participating in Ochanomizu University’s summer program, attended the study group session. We divided into three groups, each of which had one of the Vietnamese students. Each Vietnamese student gave her group a detailed description of the current state of medical and educational facilities in Vietnam and things to be aware of during our travels. Because the Vietnamese students are specializing in English, they led the discussions in their fine English. Sometimes, though, there was some Vietnamese-style English mixed in, so the study group session also gave as an opportunity to become accustomed to how Vietnamese people use English.

Discussions ranged broadly in content, and each group learned a lot about the facilities that we will be touring in September. My group talked in depth about the orphanage and school we will be visiting. Ms. Bo, who led my group, had volunteered at the orphanage so she told us frankly about what she had learned from interacting with the children. She also told us about the children’s daily schedule at the orphanage and the problems that the orphanage faces. She made the orphanage come alive in our minds by sharing many stories containing things that cannot be learned from reading books only. It was an opportunity to reconsider our attitude and prepare mentally for the onsite visits. We also shared with each other the unique features of education in our respective countries of Vietnam and Japan. This was very fruitful for our study tour as we noticed differences in our education systems and gained a new awareness of the issues. In particular, our interest in the teacher shortage and teacher training in Vietnam increased when we learned that the nation has large classes of over 50 students. In addition, the three Vietnamese students told us many things about their country: the weather and temperature during the time of our study tour, the city streets, how to carry our personal belongings and things to be careful of while riding public transportation, as well as delicious Vietnamese food and famous tourist sites. Thanks to this study group session, I have gained a general understanding of Vietnam.

(Scene2 from the session)

Because the three students were female university students just like us, we were able to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere throughout the discussions.

(Yuri Arai, Second-Year Student, Languages and Culture Division, Faculty of Letters and Education)

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