『Let’s make Osaka a City for International Students』
Their contribution to the local community should be appreciated.
Keiichi Hasegawa was born in 1947. After graduating from Doshisha University in 1969, he started his career at Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd. He became the executive director at Ehle Institute in 1976. He became the president of Ehle Institute in 1983. He is the president of Save the Children Japan, the vice president of the Minami Township Forum, and the president of the International Mentoring Association. He dedicates himself to providing support for international students as a committee membor of the Osaka Prefecture Vocational College Association.
We intervied Keiichi Hasegawa, the president at Ehle institute, which provides a variety of services to support international students in cooporation with local community.
『The course that ensures 100% employment rates.』
Ehle Institute launched a special course for qualified students that ensures 100% employment rates. The school believes in the importance of mentorship and offers extensive internship opportunities for students in coorporation with the local community.
The school supports students to set clear goals and work out a concrete plan towards these outcomes. This inspires others to pursue their dreams as well. Unfortunately, the modern educational system lacks this idea and puts too much focus on scoring marks in exams. It does not help students prepare for the job market. We aim to equip students with the necessary teamwork and communication skills through a mentorship program.
『Internship at local companies』
Faculty and students at Ehle institute have been expanding the number and type of internship opportunities for students. It took time for international students to find a company to work, but now local organizations and companies offer us more opportunities.
Students participate in unpaid internships in their course of study. Once their attitude and skills toward work are acknowledged, they may be offered a part-time job or paid internship. Hasegawa said that international students should contribute to the local community by adapting to Japanese society. Now they play an important role in the local community. Recently, they participated in an evacuation drill to keep the elderly people in a safe area. Like that, educational institutions should help international students build good relationship with locals so that their social status can be enhanced and they are welcomed by society. That's Hasegawa's goal to achieve the city for international students.
Importance of local history
While Hasegawa has dedicated himself to improving international students experience, he is also known as a committee member of the Osaka Prefecture Vocational College Association. Officials of the Ministry of Education seek educational advice from him as well. Ehle institute is a community-based school where most of its students are from overseas.
Hasegawa said that Osaka has something to attract foreign people and cultures. In fact, Osaka used to be the city that sent envoys overseas to gain new knowledge. Likewise, this city welcomed people from China and the Korean peninsula to spread their cultures.
I would like to conclude the interview with Hasegawa's remark: 'There is a reason why you study in Osaka. Don't forget that you have a mission to promote mutual understanding between Osaka and your countries. Work with us for bright future in Asia.'
I also dedicate myself to providing a variety of services for international students, including internship programs, and clubs and events to make local friends. Through this interview, I was inspired by Hasegawa from Ehle institute and people from the Osaka Prefecture Vocational College Association. Unfortunately, international students are not always welcomed by local community. That's why people like us should help them. There is an old saying, 'It takes 10 generations to succeed in Kyoto, 3 generations in Tokyo, and 1 generation in Osaka.' That means you are always outsider in Kyoto and Tokyo even if you become successful. However, you can make it in Osaka no matter what your background. You can be an Osakan. It's up to you. If you plan to study in Japan, why don't you come to this city? We look forward to seeing you here! （Kazumi Miyazaki, chief editor at the Global Community） （translated by Kaori Asakami Monash Univ.）