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Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST)

NAIST accepted University of Trento staff member under Erasmus+ ICM program (2023/7/10-7/14)

July 25, 2023

 In 2019, NAIST concluded an inter-institutional agreement with the University of Trento (Italy) for the exchange of students and staff within the framework of the EU's Erasmus+ ICM program. Since then, NAIST has sent 9 students, 1 faculty member and 2 staff members under this program. As a part of the Staff Mobility Program, we accept Ms. Chiara Fondriest, a staff member of the International Mobility Office of the University of Trento, for the 1 week training program.

 On the first day of the training, she received an introduction of NAIST from Robert King (UEA, Division for Global Education) and then met with Prof. Hirokazu Kato (Executive Director/Vice President, Director of Institute for Educational Initiatives) and Prof. Satoko Yoshida (Director of the Division for Global Education). After the meeting, she visited Prof. Yoshida's Plant Symbiosis Laboratory.

 On the second day, the staff of the Center for International Student and Scholar Support (CISS), International Affairs Section and International Student Affairs Section gave small presentations on their duties and responsibilities, and Ms. Fondriest then followed these with an overview of the University of Trento and her position. Through the presentations and discussions, staff of both sides had a good opportunity to learn about the differences and future tasks in international affairs in Japanese and Italian universities.

 Ms. Fondriest began her third day with a visit to the Career Services Office to exchange opinions on career support in Japan and Europe with Mr. Toshihide Yamashita (UEA) and Mr. Naoya Taniguchi (UEA). Then, as a part of the Japanese cultural experience events planned by CISS, she visited Suikaen, a workshop in Takayama area, with international students to observe the process of producing tea whisks, a local traditional craft. The group observed with great interest how the craftsman make tea whisks from a single piece of bamboo with the skillful technique. They tasted matcha which they made themselves using the tea whisks.

 On the fourth day, Ms. Fondriest participated in "NAIST Tea Time-Nagashi Somen", an event to promote exchanges between international and Japanese students, as one of the staff members. She helped in the process of splitting and assembling the bamboo and tried Nagashi Somen, a typical Japanese summer dish. She actively interacted with the students who participated in the event and made friends with them.

 On the fifth day, Ms. Fondriest visited Hozanji Temple in Ikoma City with Mr. King and staff members of International Affairs Division. She received an explanation from Mr. King about the history of the temple, which was worshipped by merchants for prosperous business and Shinto-Buddhist syncretism, where Buddhist statues and torii gates are mixed within its precincts.

 Through the one-week program, both parties were able to deepen their knowledge of international exchange through interactions among university staff members, as well as to convey the appeal of Japan and NAIST through the cultural experiences with students and staff. We aim to actively promote student and staff exchanges with the University of Trento, and we hope that this program will lead to further strengthening of the relationship between the two universities.

Presentation of University of Trento

Matcha experience at tea whisk workshop

Nagashi-somen experience with students

Visit to Hozanji Temple