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When Apeejay students savoured flavours of Japan 

16 students from Apeejay Stya University virtually interact with their peers from Kokusai College, Japan and share a slice of culture and traditions

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A student cultural exchange programme is looked at as an opportunity to provide a cross-cultural exposure and a global perspective to the students while helping them develop good friendships as well as an extensive international students’ exchange network.

This is exactly what happened during the recently organised Cultural Educational Exchange Programme between Apeejay Stya University (ASU), Gurugram and Kokusai College, Osaka, Japan. “It was a great experience interacting with Japanese students and knowing about their education and living culture. I am looking forward to knowing more about them,” said Chandrajeet Dhara, a BTech Biotechnology student with ASU.

A total of 16 ASU students were selected for the virtual orientation programme held on January 13.

Student of School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Rashi Shukla shared, “What I loved the most while interacting with our Japanese friends was that they asked us interesting questions like what have we bought recently or wished to buy, which is our favourite colour, etc. And that made the session so interactive. They tried to understand our likes and dislikes and vice-versa.” 

Apeejay students gave a presentation on great Indian personalities, their role in the society as well as contribution for the development of the country. 

At the same time, Madhu Mishra from the School of Education said Japanese students told them tales from their day-to-day lives; how they wish to live with their parents and grandparents, and she sensed their cultural and emotional inclination which is similar to Indians. 

Adding to this, Navedita Bansal, student with School of Design and Visual Arts, said, “Understanding the curiosity of Japanese students to know about India and its various traditions, we showed them the types of saris that women in our country wear. Similarly, they showed us pictures of the Kimono, the Japanese traditional outfit.” 

For many students, the prospect of studying abroad is exciting; it is the way to explore and experience different cultures as well as meet new people across the globe. But the ongoing pandemic has derailed the study abroad plans for many. 

Attending this session for the second time, Mollina Kaul, pursuing Integrated Biotechnology, emphasised, “Because of the pandemic, going to a foreign university for higher education seems like a challenge now. However, being part of such a cultural exchange programme is certainly fun. I suggest such programmes should continue for a week as it would help us know our peers from other countries across the globe. We get to make new friends – follow them on Instagram or Twitter.”

Charu Bansal, B Tech Biotechnology student, has previously learnt Japanese Language and therefore, before the orientation session with Kokusai students, she taught her Apeejay mates a few words like Moshi Moshi (Hello) Arigatō (Thank you), Hai (Yes), Yokoso (nice to see you or welcome), etc.  

She further adds, “We started  our session with an introduction in Japanese. It was an amazing session talking to our Japanese friends. They were very curious to know more about our culture.During the session, they showed us the pictures of Tokyo Tower. If they come to India, I recommend them to visit the Taj Mahal.” 

In consensus, students including Komal Kasana, Kirti Sinha and Jyoti expressed their interest in having such interactive sessions for one whole week. They feel they will get more time to learn a particular language in a better way, talk more about local food and make friendships. Moreover, Priyanka Patel and Asmitt Dutta Roy mentioned that they shared notes on Indian festivals like Lohri and Durga Puja with the Japanese students. 

Finally, Harsh Sah said the entire session was well-organised. “An interpreter was also present during the orientation programme who was translating everything and that made it so easy to communicate with all the Japanese students.” 

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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