The ‘Tohoku University Exchange Month’ was held in late 2022 to promote exchanges between overseas alumni and current international students as part of the celebrations for the 115th anniversary of the university’s founding and the 100th anniversary of its becoming a comprehensive university, with the overall aim of strengthening Tohoku University’s global network.
Eleven groups of students organized their own exchange activities between December 1 and December 28. Some of the groups were made up of students from the same nation or region, some were of alumni from the same program, and some were of current international students with either alumni or employees of Tohoku University. A portion of the expenses for these activities was subsidized by the Tohoku University ‘Shuyukai‘ Alumni Association, which oversees all of the alumni association chapters.
A group of current international students and alumni of the GPEM from China
A group of current international students and alumni of the Graduate School of Economics and Management’s Global Program in Economics and Management (GPEM) from China enjoyed making gyoza while exchanging insights about life in Sendai and what it was like to study for the GPEM program. This activity involved 14 participants, and the alumni shared their experiences and knowledge on what to do immediately after graduation, how to find employment, and other topics.
The ‘Latin/Hispanic Christmas Dinner 2022’ as a chance to enhance research and career-related networking
The ‘Latin/Hispanic Christmas Dinner 2022’ was organized by current international students and alumni from South America, bringing together six Tohoku University employees, current international students, and alumni. South Americans make up only a small number of Tohoku University’s international students, and a dinner and gift exchange gave the group a chance to enhance research and career-related networking.
Together with Dr. Seree Supratid, the chair of Tohoku University Alumni Thailand, who attended the Tohoku University International Award and International Alumni Association Award ceremony on December 7, current international students from Thailand visited Arahama Elementary School, which was largely destroyed by the tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and also the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS). “Through these activities, I was able to engage directly with the chair of Tohoku University Alumni Thailand, which made me want to get involved with the association after graduation,” said Thanatith Nakul, a current international student.
An excursion to Arahama Elementary School and a joint gathering of the Thai Alumni Association and current Thai students
A total of 154 participants took part in exchanges held by current and former international students and alumni from Africa, Indonesia, Vietnam, Germany, Mongolia, Korea, the Philippines, South Asia and the Middle East.
The expectations for this initiative were met. The opportunity given to alumni to use their varied professional experiences to help current students find appropriate mentors helped the alumni to build strong bonds. It also gave the alumni the chance to meet and engage with one another.