Online Cross-Cultural Exchange Program with Five Countries
On March 13, an online cross-cultural exchange program started with a total of 80 participants from five countries; the University of Findley in the U.S., Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology in Thailand, Chihlee University of Technology in Taiwan, Mapua University in the Philippines and Okayama University of Science, Japan.
The participants will be divided into mixed groups of 3 to 6 students and interact with each other according to a set theme until March 27.
This program is designed to encourage students who are hesitant to participate due to a lack of language-speaking ability or confidence. It is structured to teach and learn cultural differences from each other rather than language learning. Therefore, participants can choose their used language from English or Japanese.
Each group will meet online three times to discuss their chosen topic, summarize their discussion in a slide presentation or short video, and post it on Padlet, an online bulletin board used with a web browser.
On the first day, the Japanese-speaking group met in the morning (JST), and the English-speaking group met in the afternoon at the opening ceremony. First, they introduced themselves, including the purpose of participating in the activity. Then, they exchanged contact information by a group to decide meeting dates and times.
OUS Global Center, the program organizer, said, "we hope to create an opportunity for students to meet and develop friendships across borders and that these friendships will continue even after the activity."