2021 JSPS Summer Program
Online Orientation for the JSPS Summer Program 2021
The JSPS Summer Program 2021 orientation program was held online for the first time prior to the fellows' arrival in Japan, although it could not be held in 2020 due to the Covid-19 disaster.
May 11, 2021 - August 31, 2021
Kick-off Meeting (May 11, 2021)
The kick-off meeting, which replaced the conventional opening ceremony, was held twice, once for the U.S. and once for Europe, due to the time difference. In addition to the approximately 130 fellows, representatives of overseas partners and people from the JSPS overseas offices gathered at the ZOOM room. The Hayama Campus auditorium was turned into a special studio, where the moderator, Satoshi Mayama, a lecturer at SOKENDAI's Center for Educational Development, interacted with the fellows through a video camera.
The meeting began with a video message from Dr. Hasegawa, President of SOKENDAI, and Dr. Iye, Director of JSPS, followed by explanations of the Japanese language lessons and online homestay program, and presentations by Fellows who had participated in the summer program in the past. The Fellows actively asked questions and communicated with each other via chat and voice, and seemed to be looking forward to their visit to Japan.
After the one-hour plenary session, breakout sessions were held for each overseas partner, where Fellows introduced themselves to each other and the staff in charge of the organization explained their schedules and procedures.
Online Japanese language lessons (May 24 to July 3, 2021)
For the first time, Japanese language lessons were held online prior to the Fellows' arrival in Japan. Each fellow took three 90-minute lessons, one per week, in four levels: introductory, beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
About 60% of the fellows were in the introductory class, where they learned Japanese for the first time and practiced greetings, names of foods, self-introduction, and other topics that they would be able to use immediately after coming to Japan. In the intermediate and advanced classes, the Fellows discussed the differences in culture and customs between Japan and the West, and were introduced to expressions commonly used in Japanese workplaces and schools, and actively asked questions to the instructors.
Online Homestay (July 3, 2021 - August 31, 2021)
The online homestay program was designed to give the Fellows a chance to experience Japanese daily life and culture before coming to Japan by actually using the Japanese they had learned in the lessons and by talking with their host families. Some Fellows and their host families met via Skype and prepared ingredients in advance to cook Japanese food together, such as beef bowl, fried chicken, and rice balls. Others took a virtual walk near their host families' homes and enjoyed the streets, shrines and townscape via Skype.
According to the questionnaire after the program, the program was well received by many Fellows. We received some favorable comments from Fellows as followings. -"I was not sure if I would enjoy the online homestay program since it was different from meeting the host family in person, but I enjoyed it very much because I could learn about Japanese life. However, I was able to learn about Japanese life and enjoyed it very much." -"I was introduced to the town by a family who lives in the town I will be staying in, which made me look forward to visiting.