Online Kyoto Spring Program 2021
by Professor Tomoko Seto (HASS Division, Asian Studies)
Flyer from the Kyoto University
From February 14 to 24, 2021, six outstanding UIC students–– Hanna Kim (STP ‘17), Soo-Hyeoun Im (ECON ‘18), JiEon Lee (AS ‘19), Yongjae Lee (AS ‘16), Sara Rousalova (CLC ‘17), and Ashley Jeayeh Min (IS ‘19) –– participated in the “Kyoto Spring Program 2021” provided online by Kyoto University, one of the most prestigious national universities in Japan. Traditionally, this program has been held in early August at Kyoto University as the two-week “Kyoto Summer Program” for select students from East and Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States. Every year since the summer of 2015, qualified students from UIC, the only university participating from Korea, have taken part in this program. Due to the ongoing pandemic, however, in 2020, it was postponed to February 2021 and was held online. The 2021 program consisted of: lectures by Kyoto University professors in English on Japanese culture, society, and technology; intensive Japanese language classes; and online field trips and other activities with students from Kyoto University and other participating universities.
Although the UIC participants this year were not able to travel to Kyoto, what they experienced in this program turned out to be invaluable, as demonstrated in their feedback: “The lectures were on so many diverse topics, it was nice to breach out of one’s comfort zone and be able to gain new knowledge in previously unexplored areas” (Sara Rousalova); “Having events like ‘cultural experience’ and ‘field trips’ online was both an impressive and novel experience” (Hanna Kim); “The chance to meet and interact academically with students from all around the world with such diverse backgrounds and fields was a memorable one” (Yongjae Lee); “I was thankful to have been able to participate in the program, and hope to visit Kyoto University someday” (Ashley Jeayeh Min).