An orientation session for several hundred new international students was held at Kawauchi Hagi Hall on October 2. It included presentations on campus facilities, support services, multi-lingual information resources and ways to have a rewarding student life in Sendai.
In his welcome speech, Vice President Masahiro Yamaguchi gave a brief introduction of Tohoku University and offered both encouragement and reassurances. "Some of you may have a few anxieties about this new life in Japan, but your instructors and the university staff are here to help you every step of the way. We want all of you to have a wonderful experience here."
Yuka Sakamoto, from the Global Learning Center, highlighted the various English language resources, such as bulletin boards, this website and the university's official social media platforms.
"If you are aware of what's going on, you can get involved in activities that interest you, make new friends and feel more included in the campus community," she said.
Recognising that being a foreign student can be daunting at times, Nanae Kojima and Chiyuki Nakaoka spoke on the importance of healthcare and mental health awareness, and introduced the work they do at the Center for Counseling and Disability Services.
Since many students get around by bicycle, a representative from Sendai Kita Police Station was on hand to talk about the city's traffic rules and road safety. There were also stern warnings from Miyagi Police against drug-use and underage drinking.
While the main event was held in English, a smaller Japanese language session, covering the same information for non-English speaking foreign students, was held simultaneously in a meeting room next to the hall.
Before attending the information session, students were encouraged to visit the booths set up in the lobby by groups promoting campus and community outreach, as well as cultural associations.
Organisations such as the Tohoku University Foreign Students Association (TUFSA) and the Tohoku University Volunteer Support Center (SCRUM) have open membership and activities year round. While Sendai Tourism, Convention and International Association (SenTIA) and Miyagi International Association (MIA) bridge the city's local and foreign communities.
The groups reflect Tohoku University and Sendai's diversity, and students are encouraged to get involved, as a way to make new friends, as well as experience and contribute to a multicultural way of life.
International Support Office
Tohoku University Student Exchange Division
Tel: +81 22 795-3247