The Summer Program has been held online since 2020 due to COVID-19; but in 2023, the program was held in person for the first time in four years.
Based on the experience of the past three online summer programs, we held online seminars before the students' arrival (July 1–18) to start pair work for the project work in which international students and our university students will work together. After arriving in Japan, they engaged in face-to-face classes and group work. The Japanese Language Course for Japanese language learners (held for the 11th year) also offered an online buddy activity with a Japanese conversation partner from July 1 to the date of arrival. Classes for the Japanese Language Course and the Subject Based Course (13th year) in English started on July 24. A total of 160 students participated in the Summer Program: 59 students from 19 schools in 14 countries and regions, 44 students attending classes in English, and 57 members of the Summer Program Student Committee.
In the Japanese Language Course, the students individually toured Tokyo for a day then gave presentations on the last day.
In the Subject Based Course, the participants divided into 3 sub-courses to take part in intensive courses on the subjects of “Gender, Globalization and Diversity in Contemporary Japan,” “Advances in Natural Sciences” and “Japan Society and People: Insights on Some Selected Contemporary Challenges.” The Project Work Course also provided an opportunity to learn about one's own culture by teaming up with other students of diverse nationalities to compare the cultural identity developed within a particular country, region, or community with that of other countries, based on the educational practices of various countries.
As part of the class, special summer-program lectures were given by Junko Tanaka, Director of NHK International Broadcasting, on “What defines a global leader?” as well as Caroline F. Benton, professor and former vice president of the University of Tsukuba, on “Navigating the Ever-changing Global World.” The participants deepened their understanding of global leadership through these two lectures.
Other cultural events held as extracurricular activities were “Kyogen Workshop” and “Yukata Experience.” Also, in collaboration with Ochanomizu University Junior High School, an exchange event on the theme of “Seifuku” (school uniforms) was held (and attended by 51 junior high school students), where participants learned about Japanese culture.
The opening ceremony, original campus tour, welcome and farewell parties, sushi roll cooking experience, Kawagoe one-day tour, and closing ceremony were organized by the Summer Program Student Committee, a volunteer organization of our university's students. In addition, they produced a handbook, provided an app with useful websites for international students, and had online buddy activities before the trip to Japan. The program came to a successful close with participants actively engaging in international exchange activities.