7th OUS-Mapúa English Party


As coronavirus continues to require universities to use caution when accepting new international students, studying abroad remains a distant dream for many. Students who entered the Okayama University of Science when the pandemic started are now in their third year but remain hopeful as countries slowly open their borders.
One continuing ray of hope is the English Party held online by OUS' Global Center and Mapúa University's Office of International Careers and Exchange Program in the Philippines. On July 8th, OUS and Mapúa had a closing ceremony for its 7th English Party. OUS and Mapúa held the first party in July 2020.
Two years ago, OUS participants were primarily students who attended Lunch Break English. Last year, posters around campus notice on OUS' homepage and word-of-mouth by previous participants increased participation. This year, in addition to the signs and online notices, OUS English professors encouraged their students to participate in the event.
As with previous English Parties, there was an Opening Ceremony on June 20th where students met one another and were placed in buddy groups. There were six themed buddy meetings plus one group meeting:
1.   Describe Yourself and Favorite Things – students introduced themselves, talked about their favorite things, and shared interesting facts about themselves
2.   Historical Events – students discussed important events in their country's history, such as the creation of the national flag, national hero and their contributions to society, etc.
3.   Pop Culture – talk about modern trends in music, social media, films, TV shows, fashion, etc.
Group Meeting: Hands across the Sea – Instill desire and interest in studying abroad. Four students from OUS from Mapua presented videos and PowerPoints of their favorite places on and off campus and broke into groups for Q&A.
4.   Travel Tips – students discuss the dos and don'ts when traveling in their countries
5.   Japanese and Tagalog Languages and Dialects – students discuss similarities and differences between their languages in terms of popular slang, texting, etc.
6.   Chain Restaurants – students talk about the differences and similarities of menus at famous chain restaurants
At the Closing Ceremony, students from both universities shared their experiences with English Party and received Certificates of Participation.
What set this English Party apart from previous ones was that it used to be a two-week event with four buddy meetings, but students from both universities wanted more sessions.
As with the previous parties, Mapúa University students were very friendly, showed they cared about our students and did an excellent job encouraging them to speak. Most students who participated in the 7th English Party were first-year students. As of this writing, many have expressed interest in attending Mapúa University for their English Camp program.