Saitama JALT is excited to host Mike Matsuno, all the way from the Osaka area, to present about the benefits of studying abroad and how influential those experiences are in developing language capabilities in Japanese students. Mr. Matsuno is a consultant for Dublin-based Haddington International Education (HIE) and Vice President for the Japan Study Abroad Foundation (JSAF). The full abstract for the presentation can be found below:
Why Studying Abroad is “Life-Changing!”
The biggest challenges for Japanese university/high school students and the future of Japan are English language training and global success skills. Studying abroad in western countries is one of the best ways to acquire both competent language and global life skills of critical thinking, problem solving, assertiveness, leadership, active communication, and other “soft skills.”
This will be an interactive presentation that will focus on the global success skills and what Japanese students need to be aware of and to prepare for to maximize their study abroad experience. For most westerners, these “soft skills” are expected to have been acquired when students are between K-12 grades. In Japanese schools, the focus is usually on memorizing facts and important information for the tests, and the study of English is focused primarily on learning the grammar and construction of the language, leaving very little opportunity for the development of intercultural and global soft skills needed to successfully compete in today’s world. Study abroad in western countries offers the quickest and most effective way to learn and acquire these skills. These skills are what globally related businesses require for future success and competitiveness in the world. This presentation will hopefully, be eye-opening and useful for Japanese university and high school students, parents of students interested in study abroad, and faculty or staff who want to teach these soft skills as well as advise and prepare students to be successful from the very first day on study abroad.
Following the event, and if the presenter has time, we would love to go for drinks and refreshments at one of the many fantastic restaurants or izakaya that Laketown has to offer. If you are in no rush that day, please make plans to join us for an hour or so following the event!