How Nagoya University supports its international researchers: The Japanese Language Course for Families

When a PhD student, post-doc or faculty members uproottheir life to move to Japan in pursuit of furthering their career, they need to know that their institution will adequately support their loved ones. Nagoya University provides several services to help the families of our foreign researchers settle into life in Japan. One of these is the NUFSA Japanese Language Course for Families, which is held each semester. 


A joint effort by Nagoya University Foreign Students' Association (NUFSA), and the Global Engagement Center (GEC), with textbooks kindly donated by the Nagoya Sakae Lions Club, the program aims to give family members of international researchers the language skills they need to live comfortably in Japan. The classes split into two levels, one for complete beginners and one for those with some experience, typically students who took the beginner's course the previous semester. 


NUFSA members introduce the course to the students


I attended the opening of this year's spring semester course to meet the organizers and students. Representatives from NUFSA, the GEC, and Nagoya Sakae Lions Club welcomed the students. The organizers provided the students with the opportunity to introduce themselves during the ceremony. This semester's group was from an incredibly diverse range of societiessuch as Uzbekistan, the United States, Iran, France, and China. 


Students introduced themselves in English and Japanese


"Being able to get the students, NUFSA members, teachers and guests from Nagoya Sakae Lions Club all together to kick off the course made for a wonderful start to the spring semester," said Kiyoka Yajima from the GEC Support Team, who led the opening ceremony. "It's great to see the students who have been with us since last semester again, and for our new students I hope this will be a chance not only to learn Japanese but to build a network with their classmates and teachers." 


Textbooks were presented to the students by Nagoya Sakae Lions Club


Nagoya University held the first Japanese Language for Families course in 1987. After the trying years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program is now back to full capacity. With Nagoya University's ongoing efforts to enhance internationalization in the 21st century, the importance of our support systems for incoming community members from abroad remains crucial, and NUFSA and the GEC will persistently meet this challenge. 


Nagoya University Global Engagement Center Suppport Team


Article and photos by Edmund Rhind-Tutt, Nagoya University International Communications Office