On Tuesday afternoon 15 March 2017, the National University of Samoa welcomed a group of lecturers and PhD students from Osaka University, who are in Samoa for a field study program over the next 10 days. The group is part of Osaka University’s Cross-Boundary Innovation Program (CBI), an initiative that allows Japanese graduate students to visit and experience global cultures and people worldwide. Comprising the group are 6 students – Tomohiro Ioku, Hiroto Ishii, Ayako Inokuchi, Makoto Kirimura, Takashi Mino and Takayuki Yamaki – and 3 lecturers, Professors Takashi Mita, Megumi Hara and Greg Dvorak.
The Centre for Samoan Studies held a luncheon welcoming the CBI group officially to Samoa and to NUS. CSS Director Professor Meleisea Malama Meleisea, CSS staff and students and special guests, the Hon. Tuimaugaoali’i Kazumasa Shibuta (Japanese ambassador to Samoa) and Mr. Eizen Irei (Acting JICA Representative), received the group and were treated to a special traditional Japanese performance prepared by the visitors. After lunch the students met with their Samoan host families.
The purpose of this trip is to allow the students to experience life outside of Japan and “represents a quest for the kinds of development that problem-solving skills can bear through innovative planning, implementation and cooperation” (CBI manual). While in Samoa the students will be hosted by NUS graduate students and their families, they will visit villages in urban and rural Samoa and be able to share their experience with peers from both universities at the end of their stay.
CSS wishes the CBI students and lecturers all the best on their adventure!
by Dionne Fonoti