Online Interculture Communication Events!

What are your expectations about studying at Waseda? For me, as an international student, I expected to make friends with people from different countries and regions at Waseda. But now, because of COVID19, lots of international students are not even in Japan. Does that mean you don’t have the chance to have international communication with other Waseda students?

Definitely NO! I strongly recommend that you check out a university office called the ICC (Interculture Communication Center). As a freshman, I have been participating in their different range of events. Normally, they have lunch events, language exchange programs, field trips, talk sessions, and etc. During these remote learning semesters, they also switched their events to online versions, which are slightly different to the offline version. But the biggest merit, is that you can participate from wherever you are. You can easily talk to and make friends with students on the other side of the earth. To participate in an online event, all you need is a computer or any device that has access to the internet.

For students who want to engage in international communication, I would recommend participating in the online lounge and language lunches. These events are usually held multiple times each month during lunch time, when you can eat while talking. The form of these two types of events are the same - participants are sent into breakout rooms so that they can talk in small groups. However, the purpose of these events are slightly different. The online lounge, or the new name - virtual lounge, is aiming to give participants an experience of the real ICC lounge where students can study, talk or eat together. On the other hand, like the name suggests, the purpose of the language lunches is for practicing language learning. Normally, there are Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and French lunches. The online version sadly only has Japanese, English and Chinese, but it is still a good chance to practice languages with native speakers and make friends from the event.

There is also another type of event related to language learning - English Chat Club. Different from language lunches, the time period is longer and usually consists of two activities conducted within the same group. Each week, ICC will have a different theme. The theme of the two English Chat Clubs were dice chat and slang talk. Though I am writing this article in English, I am not actually a native speaker. The language events of ICC have lots of native speakers as supporters, which has been extremely helpful in improving my language abilities. As far as I know, they also have a similar events called Japanese perapera Club (perapera means fluently in Japanese). It is open to all levels of learners.

Recently, the ICC also invites guests from big companies or famous authors to give speeches online, which is also a great experience to learn from their experience and knowledge. But if you are looking for some online events with more interaction opportunities, the lunch and language events will be for you! I hope you can make new friends in school from these online events!