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SAF Japan News Archive

SAF Japan Introduces 4-week International Career Exploration Programs

SAF Japan has recently developed a 4-week International Career Exploration Program provided in partnership with FIE: Foundation for International Education, a London-based non-profit. The first cohort of participants, made-up of students from Chuo University, Keio University and Meiji University, studied on this program from February 14 to March 15, 2013 in the UK Capital. The program covered three academic components: British Life and Culture, Cross-Cultural Communication for Business and an International Careers Workshop. Throughout the program, students were provided opportunities to visit multinational firms, public sector centres and cultural organizations which are relevant to what they learned in the lectures and seminars. Students found these excursions to be most useful, and one student who joined the program in 2013 commented that he became motivated to pursue a global career through interactions with staff of Bloomberg, a worldwide enterprise providing financial news and data services, which students visited as a part of the program.

Students in 4-week International Career Exploration Program in London

Based upon the success of the inaugural program in London, in 2014 New York will be added as a learning destination of this 4-week International Career Exploration Program, and SAF intends to introduce a program based in Singapore the following year. The programs in both New York and Singapore will be operated by The Academic Internship Council (AIC) in conjunction with SAF. In addition to pre-departure orientations and activities, SAF Japan is planning to introduce a re-entry session to enable students from each program to share the local business practices and culture students learn in each region: Europe, North America, and Asia.

Customized Programs for Students from Japan – The Rikkyo College of Intercultural Communication

In Japan, SAF often works closely with specific departments at SAF member universities to customize study abroad programs to meet departmental need. One example is the cooperation of SAF and the Rikkyo University College of Intercultural Communication (CIC). SAF has been working with CIC since 2008, and as of Fall 2013 has sent more than 600 students on one-semester SAF programs overseas.

CIC has approximately 120 new students enrolled each year, and requires all students to study abroad in the second semester of their second year of studies. The study abroad program is integrated into the curriculum of CIC, and students receive full credit at home for their study abroad experience. The assessment for credit is made on the basis of the attendance rate at pre-departure study abroad orientation classes, grades earned at the host university, and official written reports submitted to CIC.

CIC chose to make use of SAF’s network for their study abroad needs in order to increase capacity and the breadth of programs offered. Through the current partnership, students can choose from 34 universities in 12 countries, including the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, China and Korea. One SAF staff member is based full-time in the CIC Department Office to administer the study abroad portion of the program with additional support provided through the SAF Japan Office and SAF Headquarters.

SAF looks forward to increasing the number of departmental customized options within its member university network. 

Rikkyo Students Studying at Lewis & Clark College

International Advisory Council (IAC) Japan Chapter Meeting, January 15, 2013

SAF opened 2013 with four professional development activities, held in three different countries: China, Korea and Japan.

On January 15, 2013, SAF Japan hosted its first International Advisory Council (IAC) Japan Chapter Meeting on the Mita Campus of Keio University in Tokyo. Established in 1858, Keio was the first private institution of higher learning in Japan. Keio is now a large, prestigious university with some of Japan’s top programs in business and medicine.

Hideko Sumita, Administrative Director of the Office of Global Initiatives, Keio University, opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to the beautiful Mita Campus of Keio University. The meeting focused around discussions of development and centrality of internships in the field of international education. In total, 43 participants from 11 SAF member universities, JAFSA (Japan Network for International Education), SAF Headquarters, SAF China, SAF Taiwan and SAF Japan attended the meeting.

Brett Rumminger, SAF Japan Director, SAF PDP

Following the meeting, participants enjoyed a reception in the Faculty Club, where Toshiki Okumura, SAF alumnus University of Westminster AY 2011-12, gave a presentation on how student mobility can change the Japanese college student, leading to a change in the landscape of globalization in Japan.

Toshiki Okumura, SAF alumnus University of Westminster

The SAF Japan Alumni Association: Inaugural Event

Since the establishment of SAF Japan, more than 2,050 Japanese students have participated on one semester or one year SAF study abroad programs. Taking this milestone into account, SAF Japan launched the SAF Japan Alumni Association on December 1st, 2012. An event was held in Tokyo at which five past SAF student participants were selected to present their ideas on the theme – Can the Internationalization of Japanese University Students Change Japan? Following the presentations, each student answered questions from the audience based on their experiences abroad. Attendees were able to vote for their favorite presentation, and Mr. Toshiki Okumura from Chuo University, who studied abroad at the University of Westminster in 2011, received the largest number of votes and won first prize. Following the student presentations, an SAF alumni who is currently working for a major Japanese corporation gave a keynote speech relating student internationalization and the future of Japan. A lunch reception was also organized and it provided students with an opportunity tonetwork exchange ideas.

The event was attended by SAF graduates/alumni, student applicants for Spring/Fall 2013 SAF programs, students who are in their initial planning stages of study abroad, and member university officials. In addition, SAF President Prof. John Belcher and Mr. Henry Oh, Director of SAF Korea, attended the event.

SAF Japan plans to expand and sustain the alumni association in cooperation with student volunteers and graduates for the benefit of student’s development, and looks forward to further events in 2013 and beyond.

Alumni Group Shot

Meiji University Joins the SAF International University Network

SAF is pleased to announce that Meiji University has joined the Foundation as the 14th member of the SAF International University Network in Japan.

Meiji University was founded in 1881 as the Meiji Law School by a group of young, thirtyish lawyers: Tatsuo Kishimoto, Kozo Miyagi, and Misao Yashiro.  Meiji University today is one of the country’s most prominent private universities with nine faculties:  Law, Commerce, Political Science and Economics, Arts and Letters, Science and Technology, Agriculture, Business Administration, Information and Communication and Global Japanese Studies. In 2013, Meiji will launch the School of Interdisciplinary Mathematical Science as its 10th School.

Meiji is a leader in the pursuit to globalize Japanese higher education. The university was selected for the Global 30 Project by the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).  The Global 30 Project provides funding to participant universities to internationalize aspects of their curriculum to increase international student enrollments and to support the development of joint international research projects.  In addition, in 2012 Meiji’s School of Political Science and Economics was selected to participate in MEXT’s Promotion of Global Human Resource Development, commonly called Global 30 Plus.  Recipients of Global 30 Plus funding are expected to increase outbound student mobility, and Meiji University will receive approximately JPY 600 million in grants for this project over the next five years.

Meiji Students
The SAF Japan and SAF Headquarter Offices look forward to working with the University to develop strategies and programming opportunities that will meet the unique needs of the institution as well as fulfill the expectations of the Global 30 Plus Project.

Announcement: International Education Symposium, Tokyo, Japan (February 10, 2012)

The Embassy of United States and Meiji University Research Institute of International Education (RIIE), with sponsorship from the Benesse Corporation, will host a Symposium on Global Student Mobility in Tokyo on February 10, 2012. The symposium will address global trends in student mobility and other important topics such as US university policies on foreign credential evaluation, quality assurance, and the implementation of international recruitment strategies. The symposium is also designed to provide a forum for discussion on the future of Japanese universities, using a Global 30 university as an example.. Please click here for further details.

Theme: Global Trends in Student Mobility and Quality Assurance: Systems and Strategies at American Universities
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Allan E. Goodman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Institute of International Education
Language: English-Japanese (Simultaneous interpretation will be provided)
Date: February 10, 2012
Location: National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) Campus, Soukairou Hall 1st Floor, 7-22-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8677
Time: 14:00-17:30 (Doors open at 13:30)
Registration Information:   Details and registration information can be found here.

Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

SAF expresses its heart felt concern for the victims of the disaster and sends its condolences to all those who have lost relatives and friends. SAF encourages all who are able to donate to humanitarian relief via their national Red Cross or to other organizations supporting the relief effort. All SAF staff and their families are safe. SAF is working with students affected by the disaster. SAF’s office in Tokyo continues to operate normally, however due to after shocks, power shortages and transportation difficulties services may be disrupted. The SAF Japan website contains further information in Japanese. Click here to donate to the Red Cross

Kwansei Gakuin UniversityIn Japan Kwansei Gakuin University's School of International Studies Joins SAF

On December 21, 2010 Kwansei Gakuin University’s School of International Studies (SIS) became the 11th Japanese university to join SAF.  SIS was launched last April for the purpose of equipping students with the ability to understand and analyze issues relating to international affairs. Each year 300 students join SIS and in principal all students are required to study abroad in their second year of studies. There are various study abroad options available to SIS students – short-term programs (1 month language study), mid-length programs (4-month language study), exchange and SAF programs. SIS faculty realizing the importance of longer-term study abroad decided to provide various academic study abroad options through SAF to compliment the university’s existing bilateral exchange programs.

Global 30: Internationalizing Higher Education in Japan (3/2010)

The Global 30 project was by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) last April, Global 30 Project aims to enhance the "globalization" of Japanese universities through a system of grants that lay the foundation for dramatically increasing international student enrollments as well as the number of Japanese students studying abroad. The government has made a public commitment to reach its stated goals by 2020.

To date, MEXT has identified 13 Japanese universities as a part of the Global 30 including Keio University - an SAF member university as well as Nagoya University, Kyoto University, Osaka University, Sophia University, Meiji University, Doshisha University and Ritsumeikan University. Commenting on this initiative SAF President Prof. John Belcher said "To achieve the intended result this initiative will be very challenging for Japanese universities, which have much to offer international students. To be successful universities will have to play to their strengths, and make significant changes to the way they operate.

Japan's Nanzan University Joins the SAF International University Network (3/2010)

Nanzan University recently became the 9th Japanese University to join SAF. Founded in 1946 as a college of foreign languages, Nanzan University has grown into one of the most prestigious universities in the Tokai region. Yet, even with the addition of new faculties, departments and research centers, the basic purpose and thrust of Nanzan education has stayed the same - to provide an education rooted in Christian values across all fields of knowledge.  Undergraduate enrollment is presently limited to around 9,500 students, reflecting Nanzan's commitment to personalized education. Nanzan University has 7 facilities and 7 graduate schools. The promotion of SAF programs on the Nanzan campus will begin in April 2010.

Shinshuu University Becomes the First National Japanese University to Join SAF (7//2009)

Shinshuu National University has become the first national university in Japan to join SAF. In Mainland China, Taiwan and Korea SAF has in its membership many national universities, but in Japan national universities have been slow to participate in multilateral international student mobility programs and join organizations established to facilitate such mobility. Shinshuu National University, with eight departments on five campuses, was founded in 1949 and is located in Nagano Prefecture. In a message to SAF Dr. Akio Nomura, Trustee in Charge of International Relations said “Shinshuu National University believes in the importance of developing individuals who can work in a global society and fostering their training through interactions with other cultures, races, languages, religions, ideologies and overcoming these differences to gain mutual understanding.

Shinshuu has about 70 international partners, ranging from student exchange to research collaborations, and these have allowed students to gain invaluable international experience that will contribute to their future lives. However, even with our many partners, Shinshuu has not been able to provide students with the wide variety of study options necessary to fulfill their needs and wishes, and have been looking for a way to solve this problem. Shinshuu National University took the opportunity to join the multilateral SAF network and is pleased to be given the chance to offer a wider variety of programs and opportunities to Shinshuu students.

New SAF Agreement with Showa Women's University, Japan (6/2009)

Prof. Marko Bando, President of Showa Women's University, emphasized the university's commitment to international education by signing an agreement to join SAF on June 24, 2009. The university launched a new International Department in April 2009, and as a part of the curriculum all 80 students are required to study at the Showa University Boston campus or at Showa’s partners in China or Korea during their 2nd year.  In order to offer a wider variety of opportunities to students, SAF in partnership with the International Department, developed and launched a new program, “Boston + ONE”.  Through the Boston + ONE program, Showa students who study at the Showa Boston campus for a semester are able to extend their study abroad experience for an additional semester or academic year through SAF study options in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and Spain.  With the introduction of this new study abroad program, Showa Women's University concurrently developed a new scholarship system specifically for those students who participate in the Boston + ONE program.

Okinawa International University (OKIU) and SAF Japan Works with Students via Teleconferencing (6/2009)

To implement a new “Officially Approved” Study Abroad Program and Scholarship System within the university OKIU decided to join the SAF International University Network. Previously OKIU students who studied outside of the exchange system needed to take a year off and were not able to transfer credit, and therefore were not able to graduate in four years. OKIU has developed an approval and scholarship system for all OKIU students who are accepted into overseas study programs. One slight problem for SAF is that OKIU is in the Ryukyu Islands and some 1600 kilometers (995 miles) from the SAF Japan Office in Tokyo. It is in fact closer to the SAF office in Taiwan. OKIU’s International Center and SAF decided to overcome this problem by using Skype teleconferencing for student counseling. Counseling sessions for students are held once a week with students using a designated computer in the OKIU International Center. Each counseling session is approximately 45 minutes. SAF staff visit OKIU twice a year to meet with students and to hold student seminars and orientations. 

Last Updated: 1/9/19