From September 13th to 24th, the International Center held its Summer Program 2021 online with one of Shimane University’s partner universities, Chiang Mai University in Thailand. This program was called “SDGs for Beginners” and ten students from four different faculties participated.
Shimane University and Chiang Mai University have been developing their exchange activities since concluding an agreement in 2017. This summer program has been held in Chiang Mai every year since, but it was canceled for 2020 due to the infectious spread of COVID-19. This year, the program was held online for its first time amidst the worldwide pandemic.
The program included lectures on SDGs, discussions about SDGs in English, and exchange activities with Chiang Mai University students. For some of the Shimane University students, it was their first time participating in online lectures given in English, but they proactively participated in the class by listening carefully to the lecturer and asking questions to deepen their understanding of the topic.
After the two-week program, participants made comments such as, “I would like to have more opportunities to express my own thoughts in English," "Though I found some difficulties learning SDGs in English, this was a good opportunity to look back on my own lifestyle in terms of SDGs," and "I always felt like speaking in English was a difficult obstacle, but I feel I overcame it by joining this program." These comments show how each of the participants realized their personal growth within such a short period.
By utilizing these types of online programs under these difficult times, Shimane University will continue to enhance its international exchanges and provide the university’s students many opportunities to develop a more global perspective.