The annual Sendai World Festa is held every summer at the Sendai International Relations Association, locally known as SIRA. TUFSA -- the Tohoku University Foreign Students Association -- was there to meet with locals and to promote their activity.
Currently in its 49th year, TUFSA has 45 members representing more than 17 nationalities. TUFSA president Chanon Pornrungroj is from Thailand, and will begin his 4th year studying Advanced Molecular Chemistry next term. Pornrungroj says he chose to study at Tohoku University because of its reputation for quality education in material science. He came to Japan on the government funded G30 project and is taking a degree course with all classes taught in English.
Since its inception, TUFSA's main objectives have been to support foreign students studying at Tohoku University; connect them with one another, as well as with Japanese students. TUFSA members are divided into four teams to oversee a range of responsibilities: Public Relations, Student Support, Education and Events. They hold various events throughout the year and Pornrungroj says in the future he would like to reach out to the Sendai community more.
One of the main events on the TUFSA calendar is the Tohoku University International Festival. A multicultural festival featuring food and performances from all around the world, this year's festival will be on October 19 at Sanjo Junior High School. TUFSA members are actively recruiting performers, and would love to hear from all interested parties. You don't need to be a student to hold a food stall or to perform, and applications can be made on-line from the TUFSA website.
Other activities include fundraising and international events. Last year three events were held to raise 1 million yen -- approximately US $10,000 -- to build 2 houses in the Philippines. More recently they celebrated Holi -- an Indian colour festival -- beside the Hirose River which runs through Sendai city.
For more information on the association and the upcoming Tohoku University International Festival see the details below.