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Lecture at the 19th International Student Homecoming Day at Kobe University

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The 19th Kobe University International Student Homecoming Day was held on 29 October. For the first time in two years, after the Corona Disaster, the event was held at the Rokko Hall and was held in a high-flex format, with face-to-face and online delivery at the same time. The event was hosted by two Kobe University alumni students, Helinan Andrei Maryan (Graduate School of Humanities, Romania) and current international student Duan Zhonglei (Graduate School of Law, China), and was conducted in bilingual Japanese and English. As an opening performance, two songs were performed by 'Hinashizuku' from the Kobe University a cappella circle 'Ghanna Ghanna'. This was followed by an opening address from Hiroshi Okumura, Director and Vice-Chancellor of Kobe University. In his address, he mentioned that the face-to-face event could be held on the occasion of Kobe University's 120th anniversary, praised the activities of graduating international students in Japan and abroad, and thanked them for their past dedicated cooperation with the University.

In the main project, "Welcome Senpai! To Kobe University - Welcoming graduating international students active on the front line" session, there was a lecture by Ms. Fariza Abidova, Co-founder & CEO of Trusted Co Ltd (International Student Centre Japanese Language and Culture Studies International Student Programme 2006 graduate). Fariza spoke about her own experiences of starting and running a company, which she wanted to share with junior students at Kobe University in an informal way rather than in a formal way. Ms Fariza first explained how she set up her own company. Based on the cross-cultural understanding she had learnt at university, Fariza first set up a company to provide corporate training on the theme of cross-cultural understanding for corporate executives and managers, and through the operation of that company, she started her current company, Trusted Co. There, she introduced the company's work in designing corporate innovation projects and creating strategies to solve innovation and social issues, as well as project management based on intercultural understanding. In addition to many thought-provoking topics such as business trends and business with an awareness of social issues, she also explained her own journey to start her own business. She also explained the importance of dreaming big, knowing why you want to start a business, acting with passion, grasping reality, having keywords to describe yourself, having emotional support, celebrating small successes, and maintaining mental and physical health as essential for business. The lecture was also very informative for students who want to get involved in business. Following the lecture, current international students Cardenas Alvarenga Emilia Victoria (Graduate School of Business Administration) and Zia Sainciu (Graduate School of Engineering) also took to the stage for discussion between the three. In response to a question from the student's point of view on 'how to take the first steps', they introduced a hub that supports start-ups, while also teaching the importance of networking and getting to know the reality of the situation.

The 'Laos Kobe University International Students Alumni Association' was then introduced online as an 'Introduction to Overseas Networks'. Hitomi Kato (Graduate School of International Cultural Studies, 2017), a Japanese Language Specialist, Japan Foundation, reported on the Laos Kobe University Alumni Association. First, a video message from an interview with Mr Keopirawong Phupet (MA 2003, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies), Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, National University of Laos, was shown, introducing Mr. Phupet's current activities and her connection with Kobe University. Afterwards, Ms. Kohto spoke about how she became a Japanese language teacher and the links with Laos through Kobe University's overseas network.

At the KU World Festa, which was held in the foyer of the Rokko Hall, the GI (Gakuza Co-op) student committee members and current international students held a 'World Games Tournament'. A diverse range of participants, including Japanese students, international students and local residents, gathered to enjoy five games from five different countries. This time, the games were planned and organized by students, who planned from their unique perspectives and organized a games tournament that both Japanese and international students could enjoy together, making it a lively and fun time.

More than 100 current students, alumni and university staff participated in this Homecoming Day, both in person and online, making it a meaningful day that embodied the concept of 'People, Knowledge and Reunion'.  


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