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Coffee Hour: Reflections on Internationalization and Ten Years in Japan

Author: Tsukuba Information Center, Issue: January 2007, Topic: Coffee Hour Location: Tsukuba City

  • Date & Time: Wednesday, January 24th
  • Place: Tsukuba Information Center (1-10-1 Azuma Tsukuba-shi)
  • Guest: Ms. Shaney Crawford (Canada)

We often hear the words, "Internationalization" or "International exchange". When you hear these words, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think of the various opportunities that exist for Japanese people and foreign residents to come into contact with each other; for example, cultural exchanges, parties, and sports activities. These may greatly contribute to deepen understanding of different cultures. However, is there something else that is missing?

Ms. Shaney Crawford is a Canadian who has lived in Japan for ten years: five years in Fukushima Prefecture, and five years in Tsukuba. During that time, she has been a teacher in a junior high school, a coordinator in an international association, a graduate student, and she is now working as a translator and editor for a research institute in Tsukuba.

Through her various experiences in Japan, she has come to develop a broader sense of the challenges of internationalization. It can be very challenging for foreign people to adapt to Japan, and often just when they do finally adapt, their term in Japan finishes and they have to return to their own countries. Ms. Crawford says that there are two key points that are involved in ensuring smooth international relations within Japan.

The first is to decrease the amount of time that it takes foreign people to come to an understanding of Japan and get used to their lives here. The second is to increase understanding and acceptance of other cultures within Japan.

Ms. Crawford will speak about her experiences and offer her insights on living in Japan as a foreigner. In particular, she will focus on barriers to internationalization and ways that both Japanese people and foreign people can work together to make their friendships with each other more meaningful.

We look forward to your participation!!

(Language: Japanese)

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