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EU delegation’s educational programs for Japan

by Chiho Iuchi

Staff Writer

With the emphasis on people-to-people exchanges and the increasing demand for human resources with international mind-sets, the Delegation of the European Union to Japan offers some academic opportunities for the young generation in Japan who will be the opinion leaders in the future.

The EU school projects

The seventh EU Comes to Your School project will be held on May 13 and 14, with a total of 66 EU diplomats, including eight ambassadors, visiting 92 high schools in 34 prefectures from Hokkaido to Okinawa to give presentations on the EU to more than 49,000 students.

Also, following the inaugural event last year, the Your School Comes to the EU project will take place on May 15, with 160 students from four high schools in Tokyo visiting the delegation’s offices at Europa House in Minato Ward, Tokyo.

Since the delegation moved to its current location in August 2011, the new offices have facilities to welcome that number of students. “We wanted to give a few schools the chance to visit the delegation, see where we work and enjoy the same lecture that we give across the country,” said Richard Kelner, who is in charge of the academic programs at the delegation.

The event at Europa House also features some European students who will give a brief presentation about their home countries and the differences between life in Japan and in Europe.

European Higher Education Fair

Building upon the successful first event held last year in Tokyo and Kobe, the Delegation of the EU to Japan, together with several other organizations, will organize the European Higher Education Fair 2013 from May 17 to 19.

The event will endeavor to showcase to Japanese students, researchers, as well as those already in employment looking to bolster their career through the acquisition of additional qualifications, some of the most interesting higher education programs of more than 50 academic institutions from over 10 European countries, including non-EU member states, such as Norway and Switzerland.

“The idea is to bring European universities together, not separately, under one roof to promote European education, all of its many different courses, programs and scholarships, which are available in lots of European countries,” explained Kelner.

The event will introduce in particular the information about English-language programs in non-native English speaking countries.

“That’s not to say that courses in other European languages are not important — of course they are as well,” said Kelner, adding that the point is that English courses are available not only in the U.K., Ireland or the U.S., but more and more international universities in the EU Member States are also offering various programs in English.

“We knew that, certainly, compared to a few years ago, the number of Japanese students going to study abroad has been in decline in the past several years. So we were not sure how many students would come last year,” Kelner said. “But we had over 1,300 students come. It was a great success and we hope to have even more than that this year.”

The fair will take place on May 17 and 18 at Meiji University in Tokyo. In the Kansai region, the event will be held at Doshisha University in Kyoto on May 19, with 41 institutions taking part.

Each university and institution will have a booth where students can talk directly with the representatives there. Also, a program of presentations and seminars on the opportunities for students and researchers in Europe will be offered.

“We also invited some Japanese universities to create possible links,” Kelner said.

“Admission is free and there is no need for prior registration,” he said. “Everyone is welcome.”

European Higher Education Fair 2013

Tokyo fairs

May 17, 12 p.m.-8 p.m.; May 18, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Meiji University Surugadai Campus, Academy Common 2F; 1-1 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku; a 3-minute walk from Ochanomizu Station

Kyoto fair

May 19, 12 p.m.-6 p.m.

Doshisha University Imadegawa Campus, Ryoshinkan 1F; Karasuma Higashi-iru, Imadegawa-dori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto; a 1-minute walk from Imadegawa Station, Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line

For more information, call the EU Delegation to Japan at (03) 5422-6001 or visit www.ehef-japan.org (Japanese only).

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