Filipino students participate in the One World Program

Hitotsubashi High School – a part-time high school in Tokyo – in partnership with non-profit organization Kuriya and college researchers are currently implementing the One World Program. According to the statement of Kuriya founder Shuko Ebihara, the program encourages the participation of foreign and Japanese students in intercultural projects or workshops to address the high dropout rate of international students reportedly struggling with feelings of isolation.


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Through the One World Program, three Filipino students Paolo Punzalan, Akane Aragon, and Juria Sone have recently developed a road map to serve as a guide for dealing with the different unique challenges that face foreign students in Japan. In a recent interview, Ebihara announced that, “We felt there was a real need for community-building within the school, so as a form of after-school activity, together with the high school teachers, college researchers and our non-profit organization, we developed the program.


In addition to the One World Program, the three Filipino students likewise prepared a slide presentation that discussed ways to combat four problems for international students in Japan, namely: learning the Japanese language, making Japanese friends, finding part-time jobs, and planning for the future. Through their presentation, Punzalan said that taking responsibility for oneself is a key element to contend with the challenges mentioned above. As a supplement, Aragon mentioned that “We are in a foreign country, so it isn’t easy, but facing the challenge is what is important.”


Punzalan says that learning the Japanese language is truly an essential stepping stone to address the other three issues discussed in the presentation. By actively communicating with other Japanese students, participating in Japanese classes, and attending after-school clubs, foreign students would be able to develop good friendships.


As for Aragon, she plans to work in Japan to make a life in the country after she graduates.


Sone, for her part, sees the presentation as a good start, “…I think that what we have made will serve as a reminder, comfort and help for the next batch of youth or adult immigrants.”


In agreement to the One World Program, Tsukuba University assistant professor Tomoko Tokunaga cites that, “One World had a great impact on the students, especially immigrant students…Though part-time high schools have high dropout rates, most students who were involved in the club’s activities graduated from high school, some secured regular employment and a few entered university.”


Reference: Filipino student trio chart map to happy life in Japan


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