Student Forum jointly held by students from Faculty of Policy Studies, under the supervision of Professor Kato, and Universitas Sumatera Utara in Indonesia

Taking pictures with students in the Faculty of Cultural Science, Universitas Sumatera Utara

On August 11th, students of the Faculty of Policy Studies, who belong to Professor Kato’s seminar, held the Student Forum in cooperation with the Universitas Sumatera Utara in Indonesia.

At the Student Forum, 28 sophomore and junior students of Chuo University, those who are under the supervision of Professor Kato, and the students of the Faculty of Cultural Science, Universitas Sumatera Utara have shared issues that their home countries are facing and need to be tackled. Both students first gave presentations on “Society and infrastructure,” “AI and religion,” “Religious view of life and death,” and “Youth culture” in English, Japanese, and Indonesian, and then exchanged their perspectives on the topics. Students actively exchanged their opinions on each theme from a different perspective which reflected their culture and values difference. Every summer, students who are joining Professor Kato’s seminar fly to Indonesia to attend this Student Forum. Other than attending the Forum, students visit local companies such as the Ministry of Religious Affairs, CNN, and NGOs.

Students in the Faculty of Policy Studies can study any of nine foreign languages in addition to English: German, French, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Melayu-Indonesia, Russian, Farsi, and Hindi/Urdu.

Below are the comments from the students who participated in the Student Forum.

Yoshito Akamatsu (Sophomore year in the Department of Cross-Cultural Studies)
  Last year, we could not get to meet each other at the venue since the Student Forum was held online due to COVID-19 situations. However, this year, we were lucky enough to be able to interact face-to-face in Indonesia. Although we both gave presentations on the same theme, I learned a lot from the fresh perspectives Indonesian students have, which seem to come from cultural and value differences. We also had a chance to exchange opinions after the presentation, and here again, I was able to further enhance my knowledge.
  I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Kato for providing us with such a great learning experience, and also to the teachers and the students in Universitas Sumatera Utara for positively holding the Student Forum. I am sure this experience will mean a lot to my future campus life.

Fumika Ishino (Sophomore year in the Department of Cross-Cultural Studies)
  I have been studying Indonesian for three years, and through giving a presentation in the local language at the Student Forum, I learned how important it is to convey my ideas in my own words.
  Through the presentation, I gained the perspective of students at Universitas Sumatera Utara on religions, and their images of Japan. Furthermore, I deepened my knowledge of value differences as well as common customs between Japan and Indonesia.
  The Q&A session was a very meaningful one as we discussed each question in depth and exchanged our opinions actively. Thanks to this Student Forum, I realized the importance of understanding and respecting the difference between one’s own culture and the others. I appreciate from the bottom of my heart my professor, the teachers, and my friends for leading my way.