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Report on Collaborative Online International Learning Program with the Vietnam Japan University


Ochanomizu student presentation 1

On November 25, 2021, Ochanomizu University conducted a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) program with the Vietnam Japan University (VJU). The first session comprised an introduction to both universities and things that students wanted to ask about Japan and Vietnam. The second session addressed education challenges and gaps in the era of COVID-19. Around 30 people participated in the program, including a JICA Vietnam Office representative.

In the first session, Haruka Adachi from Ochanomizu explained the significance of a women’s university, and VJU students not only introduced their university but also taught us some simple Vietnamese, making the session a great icebreaker.

Ochanomizu student presentation 2

The presentation in the second session addressed education challenges in the era of COVID-19, looking specifically at the education-related Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global impact of the pandemic on education, and the current status of education in Cambodia (drawing on both general theory and experience). In addition to an explanation of Ochanomizu’s Advanced Lecture of International Cooperation course, Nayuka Sakurai and Sayumi Ohta gave very insightful presentations that drew on their own experiences of participating in the Cambodia Study Tour conducted prior to the pandemic (Sakurai) and participating on an individual basis in a Cambodia education assistance project (Ohta).  

The VJU student presentations were given not just in English but also Japanese, with the program proceeding in a relaxed atmosphere filled with laughter right from the start. While a little overwhelmed at the language abilities of their VJU counterparts, the Ochanomizu students too were able to enjoy the interaction.

VJU student presentation

In the Session 1 discussion, the Ochanomizu and VJU students asked each other about systems and cultures of their countries and universities. They shared information and exchanged opinions on a wide range of topics including online classes and the fact that the VJU does not have school cultural festivals like Ochanomizu's Kiin Festival.

Session 2 discussion was conducted after the presentations on Cambodia, so we talked about education not just in Japan and Vietnam but also in Cambodia. The VJU students were extremely interested in the Ochanomizu presentations, including the SDG context. Cambodia’s scholarship system was also discussed. When the size of elementary school classes in Japan and Vietnam was raised, we were surprised to learn that there can be as many as 50 children to a class in Vietnam.

Commemorative photo

Over the two sessions, all the participating Ochanomizu students had at least a couple of opportunities to speak in English. We were very motivated by the language abilities and proactive attitude of the VJU students and also gained more confidence in communicating in a non-native language.

 (Nayuka Sakurai, third-year student,
 Global Studies for Inter-Cultural Cooperation, Department of Languages and Culture, Faculty of Letters and Education) 

 (Sayumi Ota, second-year student, Global Studies for Inter-Cultural Cooperation,
Department of Human and Social Sciences, Faculty of Letters and Education) 

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