Place: Kobe Campus for Commerce, the University of Hyogo
Photo 1: Associate Professor Carmen Tamas
Photo 2: RA Anushka Shukla (left), Professor Carmen Tamas (center), RA Cherry Tasya Lim (right)
Professor Carmen Tamas is a specialist in cultural anthropology. Her research topic is Japanese festivals, with a focus on community spirit. She teaches Japanese Language and Culture, and Intercultural Communication.
“I am very happy being part of the GBC program and teaching here. Since it’s a small program consisting of maximum 40 international students per year, I as a professor can take care of the students more and get to know them better. I had planned a lot of things and trips/activities where I would take students to experience various aspects of Japan. Unfortunately, because of the sudden pandemic things came to a halt and the activities I had planned couldn’t take place. I personally think this program is very good, and the fact that I have been part of the original team in charge of creating the Japanese language and culture program is very motivating for me. However, it is also scary, because I have to do many new things, and I have many new responsibilities. Even so, I try to look at it as an opportunity to grow and learn.”
“It wasn’t easy at the beginning, since we had to rearrange a lot of things and get used to the online system. But to be honest, it is good for the students who want to study because there is more lecture material; yes, there is less interaction in terms of group activities, but there is more content in the case of online classes, and students have access to many new things. For example, if it hadn’t been for this COVID-19 situation, which forced us to switch to online teaching, Dr. Joy Hendry (a world-leading anthropologist) would have never become part of our class and given us a special lecture, since she lives in Scotland and wouldn’t be able to come to Japan just to give us a face-to-face lecture. Access to the online educational system has offered both students and teachers new opportunities, such as meeting experts in various fields, and interacting with them much more easily than it would have been in the traditional system.
There are both benefits and disadvantages to online teaching, and I am not advocating a complete transition to this educational system. Yet, I do believe that it should be incorporated into the traditional methods, as a tool that offers us the chance to interact directly, in real time, with people all over the world.”
“This experience is from mid-COVID-19 situation, in January 2021, when the “Toka Ebisu Matsuri (festival)” was still held. One of the students from GBC program - Martha - was chosen to be a “luck inviting maiden” at the Osaka Temmangu Shrine. I think this is an extraordinary experience for any young woman, and I was very proud to have my student there. This year Osaka Temmangu had around 260 candidates, out of which only 22 were chosen to be part of the matsuri. As such, it was a very proud moment for me to have my student represent our University there. A hands-on, direct experience of Japanese culture is something I would recommend to all my students, not only as an academic opportunity, but also as a personal development one.”
“Personally, I find it hard to pronounce the names of students in languages I am not familiar with. I haven’t had much experience teaching students from Asian countries before coming to the University of Hyogo, and I struggle with the pronunciation, something I think is rude.”
Anushka Shukla, Global House Resident Assistant (India)
Cherry Tasya Lim, Global House Resident Assistant (Indonesia)