Report: The 6th Euro-Japan English Dialogue

The 6th Euro-Japan English Dialogue was carried out in November 2011. Twenty students from the Faculty of Economics met in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh on November 6th, and carried out presentations in English and Japanese with University of Edinburgh students for two days. On November 9th they moved to Malta for more debate, discussion and presentation, exclusively in English, with University of Malta students. As always, the aims of improving English in an academic setting, promoting international exchange and deepening knowledge of mutual issues related to economics were prioritized, and successfully met.

The Euro-Japan Dialogue program continues to evolve, as shown by the fact that the number of participants this year was double that of the previous year. Reflecting that growth, more staff have become involved. English Education academics Professor Alexander McAulay and Keiko Ishiwata again led the group, for the third year in a row, joined by Economics specialist Professor Shinjiro Hagiwara. Professor Craig Parsons made a significant contribution to the preparation process that began soon after students were selected in June. YNU students presented on various sociocultural topics in Edinburgh, and focused on the topic of Ageing Society in Malta, an issue both nations are currently perplexed by. Similarities and differences in the challenges faced by both countries were highlighted in lively exchanges. The contribution of the YNU group was widely admired and praised by academics in Edinburgh and Malta.

Other activities in a busy schedule included a visit to Edinburgh City Chambers to hear about the history and working of local government. Students were awe-struck when they were allowed to handle the solid gold chain of office, valued at well over one million pounds. Students participated in scheduled lectures, including a talk entitled The Geopolitics of South Korea's Foreign Policy, given by His Excellency Mr. Kim Young-Seok, the Ambassador for South Korea in Malta.

Students could build friendships and indulge in more light-hearted international exchange at various social sessions during the week. The 20 students were justifiably proud of their achievement and their success was based on the hard work and preparation they displayed in the preceding months. A session of reflective presentation by the group is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 28, 2011.