Okayama University Discovery Program for Global Learners held a five-day fieldwork course in Thailand from the 8th of September to the 12th of September 2019. Within the Discovery Program, students are able to register for field work and earn credits that count towards their Major (Senmon Kyoiku) requirements for graduation. 7 students, facilitated by Senior Assistant Professor Aoo, participated in the course.
On the 9th of September, students attended a class titled “Global Studies and Entrepreneurship” organised by the School of Global Studies at Thammasat University, a partner university of Okayama University. Together with about 30 local students, they listened to presentations on social issues and solutions in Japan and Thailand, after which they formed groups to further discuss the characteristics of shared issues and to come up with possible solutions. The opportunity allowed students to learn from each other and be exposed to the lively discussion style of Thai students.
On the 10th and 11th of September, the students met with representatives from 6 social enterprises (organizations that responds to social issues through their corporative activities); including Opendream, which responds to social issues through mapping and cell phone games, FolkCharm, which promotes ethical fashion, and Local Alike, which supports community-based tourism. Students were very impressed by the social enterprises and learnt about the importance of working with local communities.
In addition, students enjoyed an informative visit to a charitable facility in Khlong Toei district, often referred to as a “slum” area and learnt the reality as a community, as well as a cultural visit to the Ayutthaya ruins. They were also exposed to the modern cityscape of Bangkok and learned about various advanced IT initiatives, which are being utilized to improve communication and social issues in the country. Every participant actively engaged in the activities while deepening their understanding of the various social issues facing communities in the modern age.
The Global Discovery Program was founded in 2017. It is an international program where international and domestic undergraduate students, including returnees, can learn together. Regardless of department or field of study, students are encouraged to create a study program uniquely suited to their interests and future goals. With an emphasis on practical learning opportunities, including internships and fieldwork, our goal is to nurture global citizens who play an active role in their societies.
Presentation about Japan’s Aging Society by Ms Kawata at Thammasat University
Enjoying Time Together at Thammasat University (Photo credit Hinako Hamano)
Discussion with Folkcharm’s Founder
Presentation On the Process of Community-Based Tourism
Fieldwork Participants at the Ayutthaya Ruins