On Thursday, December 13th, the Association for International Students (AIS), a student support group on campus, will host a kenkyukai (seminar) orientation for the first time. This event will be held at the cafeteria (South Wing), starting from 17:00. As GIGA students often times experience difficulties in finding a kenkyukai, this orientation had been an event which was long awaited and wished for by many GIGA and overseas students.

We interviewed the current core members of AIS, Ibuki Mizota (3rd year in the Faculty of Policy Management) and Momoe Kubota (3rd year in the Faculty of Policy Management) for the details of this orientation.

The problem which the GIGA students currently face

First, we asked the background about why AIS decided to host the orientation.

On a regular basis, AIS send out a surveys to students on campus to understand their current situation and concerns. What they found through the surveys was "the problem of the language barrier".

GIGA students seem to face this problem when they are trying to find a kenkyukai. The process of finding a kenkyukai is known to be significantly important to a student in SFC. However, not only that the opportunity to know and learn about kenkyukai are limited, but also, the variety of kenkyukai which are offered fully in English is narrow.

Information about the kenkyukai orientation

Some common ways of finding an information about kenkyukai are through reading the syllabus, or visiting events such as the Open Research Forum (ORF). However, GIGA students find out that most of the kenkyukai are in Japanese and few English speakers present at ORF. These students then feel unfair, as Japanese speakers have more choices in terms of fields of research, and have different ways to find a suitable kenkyukai for themselves.

However, AIS members mention that "there are actually many kenkyukai which accept Non-Japanese speakers, and these students just do not have the opportunity to know about these kenkyukais". AIS members aim to provide this opportunity in this event, to convey the information that is difficult to find for many.

Message from the AIS members

AIS President, Ibuki Mizota AIS President, Ibuki Mizota

AIS Vice President, Momoe Kubota AIS Vice President, Momoe Kubota

Senior members from a variety of kenkyukai and also professors will welcome students who are eager to study in their own field of interest.

Additionally, this is an event opened for all students, so not only the GIGA students and the overseas students are welcome, but also, it is a chance for Japanese students to look around and explore different kenkyukai existing at SFC.

AIS hopes that students will be able to utilize this chance and maximize the opportunity provided in order to pursue their interests.

AIS Contacts