From 22 August until 6 September, 27 students from the Osaka University participated in the Appetizer Course. In this course, students were trained in English presentation and writing skills by the University of Groningen Language Centre. Also, the annual Japan Netherlands Student Conference (JNSC) took place from 5-7 September.
No less than 27 students from the Osaka University travelled to Groningen to participate in the Appetizer Course. In this course, co-organized by the University of Groningen and the Osaka University, students could train their English presentation and writing skills at the Language Centre. In addition, there was plenty of time for social activities. In their free time, among other activities, students went to the island of Schiernonnikoog, played the traditional Dutch game of ‘klootschieten’, went on a Dutch Manscaping and Watermanagement tour and visited the Kikkoman factory in Hoogezand. After two weeks of hard work, the students received a certification from their tutors.
Also in September the fourth Japan Netherlands Student Conference took place. These Student conferences alternately take place in Osaka and Groningen and are an initiative of the Center for Japanese Studies that also supervises the activities in Groningen. The actual organization part is done by students in Groningen and Osaka who also decide upon the annual theme.
The overall theme in 2013 was ‘Sustainable Energy in a Changing World’. This issue is of crucial importance to Japan, the Netherlands and indeed the world at large. Especially following the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, the energy policy of various countries has made a dramatic shift. Understandably, even more so in Japan, that is confronted daily with the problems concerning nuclear energy such as the newly discovered leaks in Fukushima.
Professor Linda Steg, drs. F. Kooiman, Professor A.J.M. Schoot Uiterkamp addressed issues such as the psychology of energy transition, the Dutch energy policy and a global perspective on Japan and energy. Rector Magnificus Professor Elmer Sterken gave a lecture about a more general position of Europe since the Eurocrisis. The students from the Appetizer Course also participated in this Conference, underlining the close ties between the Osaka University and the University of Groningen. On Friday 6 September a visit to the Gasunie took place with a lecture by Eddy Lycklama à Nyeholt, LL.M. Students discussed their own contributions and power point presentations on Friday and Saturday. Now already the preparations have started to organise the fifth edition of the conference to take place in Osaka, 2014. Students who are interested in Japan and might consider to participate in this event, are invited to contact the Director of the Center for Japanese studies, dr. Janny de Jong.
The Osaka University Centre in Groningen recently celebrated its 80-year anniversary. Osaka University has three overseas centers; one in Bangkok, one in San Francisco and one in Groningen, the latter being its gateway to Europe. The Osaka University Centre Groningen aims to strengthen its support for student and researcher exchanges between Osaka University and European universities and research institutions. Osaka University and the University have been strategic partners since 2002.
Janny de Jong, director Center for Japanese Studies, Janny.de Jong@rug.nl
Jodien Houwers, Office for International relations, J.D.Houwers@rug.nl
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