Looking at study abroad trends worldwide, we have shifted from government-controlled study abroad to an era where people choose to study abroad based on their own volition. However, even amidst the so-called international student explosion, Japanese international students, especially the number of traditional study abroad program participants, lags behind. This paper examines the results of Japan’s first comprehensive survey of the impact of study abroad (4,489 respondents). The survey covered topics including how study abroad had improved their abilities, influenced their career, changed their values and behaviors, and impacted their overall satisfaction with life. This paper focuses primarily on the results from participants who studied abroad as undergraduates compared to those without study abroad experience.
The results indicate students with study abroad experience were more proactive towards classes and extracurricular activities than their counterparts without study abroad experience. Overall, those with study abroad experience responded with greater levels of the measured indices especially in regard to foreign language competency and the ability to deal with other cultures as well as resilience to stress, problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills. In addition, the results of covariance structure analysis indicated that although study abroad did not directly correlate to greater life satisfaction, there were indirect correlations especially for those who studied abroad as undergraduates and in particular, their level of proactive participation in class. Unlike undergraduates, the results from respondents who studied abroad during high school indicated that study abroad correlated to their understanding of the host country and subsequent participation in community activities and exchange activities.
This paper examines the current status and challenges of study abroad promotion policies in the US and Australia from a comparative perspective. Both countries have three points in common regarding such policies. First, the two nations have the ambitious numerical targets of study abroad participants and work on expanding the range of such participants in order to achieve the targets. In particular, they try to increase the number of short-term study abroad participants and to expand the diversity of them, improving the flexibility of short-term study abroad programs. Second, the two countries have a policy objective of contributing to their economic development by cultivating human resources, through study abroad, that can play an active role in the global economy. Because of this objective, the governments of the two countries can make efforts to promote study abroad through public-private partnerships. Specifically, they receive funds from the business community for developing new study abroad programs including internships abroad as well as scholarships for study abroad. Third, both countries have a policy to promote studying abroad that spans the medium and long-term mission of diplomacy and economy. However, despite the timeframe of such mission, their study abroad policies are effective for a fixed short-term.
The difference between the two countries’ policies is that the US tries to utilize more private funds and resources in the policy implementation than Australia does. The implication of this study for Japan is that the country needs to coordinate its study abroad promotion policy and foreign policy. Currently, the rationale of Japan’s study abroad promotion policy concentrates on revitalizing the Japanese economy. More specifically, it is for Japanese graduates to work for Japanese companies that will do business around the world. Powerful economic pressures favor the policy, but the enhancement of diplomatic relations is not engaged with as much.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the overseas experience of university students and its impact upon their career choices as influenced by current Global Human Resources Development Policy. By comparing overseas university experience with that of returnee students who lived abroad before and during high school, the study also aims to illuminate the significance of short-term study abroad during undergraduate years. The study is based on semi-structured interviews with 22 students who studied abroad as undergraduates, and 16 students who lived abroad from childhood and entered a Japanese university. From the interviews of the study-abroad students, we found several competencies and skills that were developed through study abroad experiences such as adaptability, communicative skills, intercultural understanding, and, as well, expectations for a global career in the future. On the other hand, these students expressed a lack of confidence and complained about the limits of short-term study abroad programs. When hunting for jobs in Japanese companies, they experienced difficulty adapting to the culture and hiring process. The cause may be attributed to these students’ exposure to the ways of thinking and career expectations of university-level host country students.
Like study-abroad students, returnee students developed similar competencies from overseas experience and also aspired to a “global career.” However, they differed in that they showed strong identification as returnees and their global competencies were positively viewed during the hiring process.
Compared to the returnee students, the long-term impact of the experiences of those who studied abroad on career opportunities may be weaker, due to Japanese companies’ underestimation of their study-abroad experience. The study suggests the need for Japanese companies to appreciate the gains of study-abroad students and encourage them to take advantage of their overseas experiences.
This article reviews the current patterns of students who study abroad from a Japanese university and constructs a conceptual framework to analyze it. Based on the framework, through a case study of a large comprehensive national university, the article attempts to compare the traditional patterns of study abroad to study abroad in ASEAN countries. This is a new trend for Japanese university students and indicates that study abroad patterns of Japanese university students are changing.
Specifically, this article examined 19 study abroad programs in 2016 for textand coding-analysis and then compared the program contents. The author found that 1) study abroad in ASEAN countries aims to improve students’ academic skills, and attitudes, in addition to English language proficiency and communication skills, and 2) content differs by student status: undergraduate or graduate. In addition to these, studying abroad in ASEAN countries is seen by students as a very short-term (approximately 10 days)，academic discipline-centered, and faculty-led. These features are considered a new pattern of Japanese university students’ study abroad experience.
The purpose of this research is to investigate how a study tour to Lao PDR, a developing country in Southeast Asia, impacted university students in terms of their own path and learning achievement. As a research methodology, questionnaires are given, and interviews were conducted with the students after returning from the tour. Moreover, in order to know what type of study tour gives a stronger impact to the students, this research compares two types of study tour, a university-leading study tour（interactive type）and student-leading study tour （collaborative type）．The interactive type primarily aims to interact with children and university students, and the collaborative type aims to actively interact with local villagers to complete an independent project.
The three major questions given to the participants are as follows; what kind of changes are brought to the students’ lives and educational path after returning from Laos, what they learned through the activities in Lao PDR and what actions were taken after participating the study tour.
As results of research, regarding their own path, it was found out that the students from collaborative type programs show higher aspirations for their career and seek another opportunity for foreign experience. In addition, regarding their learning achievement, collaborative type participants achieved deeper learning of developing countries as well as recognized their needs and actual experiences. Moreover, returning from Lao PDR, the collaborative group showed more positive reactions, such as participating in internships and studying abroad. Reviewing these findings, the collaborative type, the active learning style of study tour which promotes independence, gave more impact to the students. So much so that even the university-leading study tour can successfully impact the students by making them set up their own goal-based projects and giving them initiative to be involved in activities with local people.
This paper focuses on the long-term study abroad program to South Korea for the purpose of credit acquisition that is part of the university curriculum. In particular, it examines what the students acquired during their one-year study abroad experience based on their reflections in study-abroad reports. Students’ learning consisted of the following three aspects: （1） the importance of English for communication, （2） re-recognition of their own culture through contact with people of other cultures as well as first languages, and（3）expectations regarding the continuation of their learning after their studying abroad experience ends. These aspects are connected to the understanding that even when studying abroad in South Korea, a non-English-speaking country, English functions as the common language for communication where multilingual speakers gather. Moreover, students reflected and recognized their own lack of English proficiency, and, as if corroborating previous research, tended to recognize their own Japanese-ness for the first time when going overseas. Finally, this paper discusses how students utilize the study abroad experience, reexamining and reconfirming their particular individual expectations regarding their own university education.
In order to foster the continuation of learning, an attempt was made to re-examine the problems of the university curriculum. In order to nurture global human resources and “promote international and well-educated individuals” which was the stated aim of this program, the following curriculum goals were put forth. The first includes the fostering of English proficiency as a tool, creating clear suggestions and an evaluation system for “before study abroad—during study abroad—after study abroad” in the Korean language curriculum. Finally, upon returning to Japan, providing a more diverse learning environment within the university campus for study abroad students is advised and critically in need. This would aid in the reevaluation and reconsideration of the university credit acquisition type of long-term study abroad programs that are expected to gain further momentum and popularity in the future.
This research discussed challenges faced by a Japanese research university seeking to internationalize the campus environment. To identify the challenges, twenty-five international graduate students were interviewed, and qualitative data analysis was conducted to assess their perception of the campus climate regarding diversity.
Results showed that effective interpersonal interaction was crucial for students’ sense of equal participation in the learning community, which in turn influenced their perceptions of a positive campus climate. Faculty- and organizationallevel initiatives aimed at diversity management on campus fostered intercultural interactions among students, with either a direct or an indirect impact on international students’ feelings of acceptance within the learning community. Various factors such as language ability, course or program features, students’ cultures of origin, or strategies employed to deal with the dominant culture were identified as affecting the diversity of campus experience.
Discussions were undertaken regarding actions required to improve the campus environment to ensure that all students feel secure and supported.
The Human Library is an event where people are rented as “books” to be “read” by others. People who are considered to be social minorities are to perform as “books”, which is designed to help reduce discrimination and prejudice in the society by talking with the readers. The purpose of this event is to nurture a tolerant attitude towards different people. In this study, we focus on “the books” who are the narrators and study the effect that narrating their stories have on their self-understanding. We participated in Human Libraries performed throughout Japan and conducted semi-structured interviews of 23 “books”.
We found that “books” who participated in Human Libraries had a strong tendency to participate repeatedly, and the reasons for this included an actual feeling of growth gained through self-reflection, the pleasure of the talk, and the interchange with others. However, at times they also experienced feelings of uneasiness or recalled a traumatic event, which they struggled to overcome.
Thus, it may be said that the narrative and dialogue in the Human Library promotes new discovery and self-understanding for “books” who are struggling to come to terms with their attributes and minority status. In addition, it was suggested that they are effective in educating the general public about the perception of different cultures.
Intercultural rhetoric, which deals with problems in communication between and among individuals with different cultural backgrounds, highlights the need for writers to understand the diverse styles and values of writing, and the ability to decide their writing style to suit the situation. Therefore, a writing class is organized with the aim of “understanding one’s own style of writing and learning diverse views of good writing, by revising one’s own writing in accordance with the reader’s suggestions.” The class participants were two Japanese language learners from Uzbekistan and the activities conducted were: understanding different methods of evaluation, analyzing one’s own writing, receiving feedback from a conference with a teacher, and having an interview with foreign students. The participants also wrote an essay on their view of good writing. And an interview was conducted after the class was completed. Then, these essays and interview scripts were analyzed to examine the transformation of the learners.
As a result of the analysis, there are three transformations that were observed: 1) learners recognized that readers have different thoughts and values, and realized that the purpose of writing is to convince the reader, 2) learners became aware of the influence of elementary and secondary school education on their writing, 3) learners noticed that the writing instructions they received were based on Japanese style of writing, and sometimes Japanese language teachers mentioned that the problem in their Japanese writing is that it is stylistically different from Uzbek writing. Hence forth, it is necessary to work on educational practices in order to improve writing by regulating a balance between what the reader expects from the text and what the writer wants to write, especially once the writer has recognized that there is a variety of ways of writing and different views on what constitutes as good writing.
In this study, we conducted a cross-cultural educational session using role play that responds to a cultural conflict between Muslim international and Japanese local students. We focused on their reactions and learning, as well as exploring and organizing the actions and cognitions they performed in role playing. This study found that Japanese learners sought behavior that was comfortable for both Muslim international and Japanese local students during role playing. The latter thought that the former were confused because of their religious precept, although they tried to solve the problem Muslim students were confused indirectly by making enquiries without any religious reason, as Japanese students believed that asking publicly about religious topics is rude. Japanese students were concerned over how to, among others, ask a question, start a conversation, create a peaceful atmosphere, and reply in a way that does not divert the issue and make Muslim students uncomfortable or feel guilty. Based on Japanese student’s behavior and correspondence in this study, it was revealed that the areas and examples of social skills observed among Japanese students, who were not familiar with foreign students, were easy to create and carry out. It was suggested that in addition to skills related to starting a conversation and establishing a friendly atmosphere, a more effective skill that must be acquired in communicating with international students is the use of simple and easy Japanese spoken language and facial expressions.