International SL Testimonials

Year 2018 | 2019 | 2020(Cancelled) | 2021 | 2022 | 2023

The Amity Foundation, China

af_nagahara_f.jpegSatsuki NAGAHARA

I felt that a major advantage of this program was that I was able to become a part of the local society by traveling there and engaging in activities. By interacting and joining activities directly with local people, which I would not have been able to do on a mere trip, I was able to see the Chinese society from a deeper perspective. I was able to learn that state power and politics are different from actual society and local people.
One thing that has left a lasting impression on me during my activities is the reaction of the people around me with when I spoke Chinese for the first time. I was hesitant to speak my poor Chinese, and at first, I spoke in English, but one day I put it all to shame and spoke a little Chinese, and the local people responded in a way that I had never seen before. It was an experience that made me realize that good communication depends less on having a high language level and more on the attitude of how much we are willing to communicate with others.

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Union Christian College, India

ucc_ishida_f.jpegHaruka ISHIDA

We had many up-close and personal experiences of local life through the activities; visiting a local elementary school to teach origami, interviewing cleaning staff working on the university campus and women in a weaving workshop who make local traditional costumes, and visiting a branch facility of a women's empowerment organization run by the Kerala government. I had hoped to visit the India as a completely new cultural provider for the locals, but I learned more from the locals than I could offer them, and every day was a series of new discoveries that made my one-month activities truly fulfilling.
What left the greatest impression on me was the dependability of the local women. I had a strong image of India as a developing country and thought that it was lagging in terms of women's education and careers, but the local women I met were so energetic that I realized that my original impression of India was in a very narrow view.

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Lady Doak College, India

ldc_negishi_f.jpegRei NEGISHI

The program at Lady Doak College consisted of two parts. The first half of the program consisted of lectures by professors and outside instructors on Indian culture and social issues. The lectures covered various religious beliefs and customs, India's education system and its challenges, life events such as weddings and baby showers, the caste system, gender inequality, and other issues, including real opinions from local students, and were a great learning experience. Based on the content of these lectures, I was able to visit a local elementary school in the second half of the program and give a class on the topics of diversity and Importance of Education.
Based on what we had learned in the lecture on the caste system, we conducted the class while thinking about how we could convey the message to the elementary school students so that it would resonate with them. On the last day of the visit, many of the students said that the most impressive thing they learned was the importance of studying. In India, where the level of education differs greatly depending on caste, it was a moment when we realized that our lessons had left a lasting impression on the elementary school students and, although it was a small effort, may have encouraged them to continue their studies.

Dari K, Indonesia

dk_Waka_f.jpgKae WAKABAYASHI

We were able to learn about the basics of business, the positions of various people, and local production for local consumption and food safety in Indonesia, through thinking about what we university students can do in the business field during our activities, while communicating with the local staff of Dari K and the owners and employees of the cafes in Polewari and Makassar.
We supplied information about the chocolate market in Japan and went to elementary schools to conduct chocolate-making workshops to revitalize the local cacao industry. What impressed me was the kindness of the Indonesian people. In particular, the café owners and regular customers provided us with linguistic support when we offered prototypes at the café and conducted surveys. When we visited people engaged in various small businesses such as coconut and cassava flour in addition to cacao farms, we strongly felt their passion and commitment to their work and felt that they will achieve significant economic growth in the future.

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Petra Christian University, Indonesia

pcu_osawa_f.jpegKaede OSAWA

I enjoyed teaching at school with students from various countries such as the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Korea, and doing activities such as painting on the walls. Living with a homestay family was an invaluable experience, as I was able to experience local life in a way that I would not have been able to on a personal trip. I had many opportunities to do activities at the school in the village, so I was able to spend a lot of time with the local children. Through the activities, I was able to create such deep relationships with the villagers that I shed tears when I had to say goodbye to them.
The most memorable part of the service activities was playing with the children. By spending time with the children, I was able to learn about various aspects of local life and culture. For example, I was able to learn that the media is deeply penetrated even in a small village in Indonesia, and I also learned about the local people's attitudes and customs regarding garbage. There were not a few surprising facts, but I enjoyed seeing many aspects of the children by spending time with them.

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Silliman University, Philippines

su_azagami_f.jpegSoma AZEGAMI

Only the Philippine program has a buddy system with local students. This year, 16 ICU students and 8 students from Silliman University participated in the program. Not only did they support us in various ways at the places where we engaged in service activities --which changed every week, but we also spent almost the entire month together, going out to eat and shopping together on our days off. I was very impressed with it.
In the program, we visited a different childcare facility or shelter every week and had many opportunities to communicate with children from diverse backgrounds. Each week, we observed the backgrounds and characteristics of the children in front of us through our interactions. The process of discussing what we should do for them and trying to put it into practice was difficult, but on the other hand, very enjoyable. The process of gradually building a wonderful relation with the children over the short period of one week was very impressive and important to me.

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University of Cape Town, South Africa

uct_inoue_f.jpgRuna INOUE

Within a short period of one month, we were able to go to various places such as educational institutions, botanical gardens, NGOs, etc. to do service activities. I was able to meet a lot of people every day and had a very rich experience. Since we also spent a week each at an elementary school and a high school, we were able to talk a lot with the students, which was a very valuable experience.
The most memorable experience was serving meals at an NGO. South Africa has a much higher percentage of absolute poverty than Japan, and it was shocking to see many children among those who lined up to receive meals, even though it was still in the morning, which for me is a time for school. It was very heartbreaking to encounter situations where we had more people in line than we could provide food and there were people who we could not serve even though we reduced the amount of food per person. I have thought about the issue of poverty a lot, but this was the first time in my life that I met people who did not even have enough to eat tomorrow, and it was a shocking experience.

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Faculty-Led Course (Prof. LEE, Seunghun), Korea

Host Institution: GBS Farm

トリミング_田邊日菜花.jpegHinaka TANABE

My one-month stay in Korea, where there are no walkable convenience stores or bus stops, was an opportunity to learn about the wonderful connections among the people there. I am interested in regional development, so I conducted service-learning activities with an inquiry of how local communities are built in rural Korea, a country that has much in common with Japan. During my stay in Korea, I engaged in a variety of activities, such as attending local meetings, participating in practical training at an agricultural high school, visiting farmers, holding workshops for local junior high school students, and participating in a program with Chungbuk National University. We met many people during our activities, and despite the language barrier, the local people warmly accepted us who suddenly came from Japan. At the same time, we learned a great deal in terms of comparisons with Japan and the current situation regarding various rural issues that are written about in textbooks as a matter of course, such as the disparity with urban areas and the low birthrate and aging population. I would like to think about what we should do to ensure that this warm region can continue to exist in the future, from both a micro and macro perspective.

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