Exploring Japan
24 March 2021

Anastasia Lapteva, student of Irkutsk State University (Faculty of History), took part in the Winter Online School of Hirosaki University dedicated to the culture and language of Japan.

Anastasia Lapteva:

- Thanks to the Online School, I virtually visited Japan and learned a lot about the history of Aomori Prefecture and Tohoku region. We visited archaeological sites, traveled to cities and analyzed the peculiarities of regional culture such as summer festivals, the spread and development of coffee culture, etc. The internship was not so difficult as I expected. The teachers were open to any questions.

The program of the school which lasted a month included lectures given by scientists from the University of Hirosaki, virtual tours and interactive classes, participants studied Japanese and improved their knowledge of English. Upon completion of the training, students submitted an essay on the material covered, in which it was important to present their views on some aspects of Japanese culture.

Due to the pandemic and the preventive measures taken, students of ISU have not been able to travel to foreign higher education institutions for training and internships for more than a year. However, interaction with foreign partner universities has not been terminated and is taking place in a new format.

Tatiana Kuznetsova, international projects manager of the ISU International Office:

- One of the ways to solve the problem was the large-scale use of distance learning. For example, these are short-term online internships offered by many foreign partners of Irkutsk State University. Of course, they do not provide the complete immersion in the cultural and linguistic environment, but they fulfill their main function - educational and cognitive, and also stimulate young people to work independently, help them to improve communication skills. Such internships, as a result, significantly expand the scope of skills of future specialists our students will definitely become.

Anastasia Lapteva's participation in the Winter School took place under the cooperation agreement between Irkutsk State University and Hirosaki University (since 2002). A new round of development of relations began in the spring of 2020 with the visit of a delegation from a Japanese university to ISU. Then the representatives of the universities discussed issues of expanding cooperation and identified new areas of mutual interest.