A Throwback Five-day Cultural Exchange Program With Japanese Students!
The pandemic has prevented various in-person events from being organized. However, everything is possible if we strive to make the most out of the situation. With that in mind, ABROADER was delighted to collaborate with Ryugaku Journal to organize a 5-day Online Cultural Exchange (February 24th to March 5th). We were extremely honored to welcome 6 Japanese university students and 7 Vietnamese local buddies on board. Not only did they have so much fun during cultural exchange sessions, but they also discussed and shared their perspectives on SDGs. It was a short virtual study tour, yet the participants had made a wonderful job in connecting with friends from different backgrounds, exchanging their thoughts, and learning from each other. Now, let’s take a look back!
The kickstart of a five-day cultural exchange
Physical distance does not stop us from connecting with each other!
3,900 km apart. The physical distance did not stop us from connecting with one another. Sharing photos and videos of our daily life was how we shortened the gap. All participants had joined the challenge “LIVE DIFFERENTLY IN A NEW NORMAL”, where each participant sent a voice chat to a friend from a different country in the program to talk about what the most meaningful thing in a day for him/her! By doing so, mutual friendships grew and an open exchange hub was created naturally. Besides, we all resort to emails and instant messages on the occasion of sharing information as a habit, don’t we? Forget about them all! Get some vibes of the old times where hand-written letters were the only choice. Postcards with all the love and appreciation had an amazing trip all way long from Vietnam to Japan.
Program challenge: LIVE DIFFERENTLY IN A NEW NORMAL
We proudly share about our own country cultures and embrace learning about other cultures!
Food is always a good topic to start with! Japanese students paid a “virtual” visit to a restaurant and learned how to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls - one of the go-to dishes of many Vietnamese families. Moreover, eating habits and table manners in both countries was what we exchanged enthusiastically. Interestingly enough, we share various things in common but in different meanings. For example, everyone needs to say something before eating. In Vietnam, we would invite others to eat, especially the older to show immense respect. On the other hand, the Japanese would say “itadakimasu” which is a polite phrase meaning "I receive this food." This expresses thanks to whoever worked to prepare the food in the meal.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls made in the Cuisine Exchange Session
We learn to collaborate with foreign friends to discuss Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This is when challenges actually came up! It is not always easy to talk and share about these topics in English but with the support of local buddies, Japanese students learned to:
- Develop ideas logically
- Get diverse perspectives when discussing with local peers
- Sharpen their English speaking skills by spending time practicing with local buddies
- Improve their presentation skills
Main theme of the program: Sustainable Development
On the final day, each team presented their ideas on three topics namely Global Citizens, Environment, and Health. It was our profound joy to see each student present their ideas with confidence. The most sentimental part finally arrived when we shared our personal feelings and wishes. We were excited to enjoy the musical virtual performances from local buddies and Japanese students which were very amazing.
Participants learned how to have an effective presentation
Messages to our students
Overall, It was such a short yet exciting and memorable journey for students from Japan and Vietnam to experience cultural diversity, learn from each other and have fun. ABROADER would love to send the sincerest thanks to all stakeholders for making it a meaningful program. We are all looking forward to welcoming more students on board for new exciting adventures ahead.
We are thankful for having YOU!
If you are interested in such cultural exchange programs, don’t forget to stay in touch with us via the following addresses:
- Whatsapp: +84 975 630 435 / +84 338 531 395
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: abroader.org / studentexchange.vn
- Facebook: Student Exchange Vietnam - Abroader
- Instagram: @abroader_sev
- Twitter: @abroader_SEV