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ISSUE 3 Spring 2012

THE CHOSHU FIVE Study Abroad 1863 -

By John Belcher, SAF President and Co-CEO

In the context of today’s debate about

the time. One wonders whether their

declining numbers of Japanese students

western hairstyle reflects the relatively

studying abroad, it is often forgotten

recent chopping off of their top-knot

that Japan has a long tradition of

when they left Japan for their two month

sending young people abroad to study.

voyage to London.

The experience of some of the earliest

The UCL record shows that they

study abroad by Japanese students was

attended Professor Alexander

not too dissimilar to today’s students

Williamson’s classes in Analytical

going abroad to pursue academic

Chemistry and that Williamson had


to seek permission from UCL to have

Perhaps the very beginnings of study

them admitted as special non-degree

abroad from Japan can be traced to

seeking students – something SAF

1863 when five young noblemen from Japan – the Choshu Five – who having secretly left Japan arrived at

is doing today. Photo Courtesy of UCL (L to R): Kinsuke Endo, Shunsuke Ito, Yakichi Nomura, Bunta Inoue, Yozo Yamao

University College London (UCL) for a period of “study abroad”. The accompanying photograph, probably taken soon after their arrival in London, shows them in the studios of a Victorian photographer posing in a somewhat informal style that was quite common at

The record also shows that they lived with Williamson, thereby solving a perennial problem for study abroad

students – where to live. What is interesting about these early study abroad students is that they were on a highly practical mission: to integrate academic knowledge with Continue pg. 3

TABLE OF CONTENTS The Choshu Five................................... pg. 1,3 The Role of the University in the Development of Global Workforce.... pg. 1-2

The Role of the University in the Development of the Global Workforce

Why Asian Students “Study Abroad”...... pg. 2

By Yoshikazu Watanabe, Ph.D., Director, Center for International Education and

Reducing Financial Barriers to Study Abroad ........................................... pg. 4

Professor, Faculty of Policy Studies, Nanzan University, Japan

SAF Professional Development Program (PDP) 2012 ................................................... pg. 5

In my past experience working in a Japanese corporation with significant international projects, I conducted many job interviews to help the corporation identify prospective

A Warm Welcome Awaits You in Asia ......... pg. 5

employees that would be able to succeed in a global context. I must admit that not all

FIE Develops a Cross-Cultural Communications for Business Course for SAF Students......... pg. 6

of my recruiting efforts resulted in success. In fact, it was these challenging experiences

SAF Student Profiles ................................ pg. 7

ask candidates in assessing their potential.

SAF Staff and Network Development .... pg. 8

that ultimately taught me about the kinds of skills to look for and the best questions to Continue pg. 2

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The Role of the University in the Development of the Global Workforce (continued) When job announcements include international project-

ability become

related work, Japanese applicants tend to first think

the proper

about foreign language skills, as there is a mentality

foundation for the

that “International=English”. However, this is not as

development of a

straightforward as one might assume. In reality, required

globally competent

language proficiency varies greatly based on job description


and the seniority of the position. For some positions it may be sufficient to simply have the ability to make oneself understood, while other positions may require language skills at the level of a professional interpreter. However, even with a professional interpreter’s high level of language proficiency, this alone will not guarantee that the candidate will be successful working on international projects.

As a member of a university committed to developing a

Dr. Yoshikazu Watanabe, Nanzan University, Japan

workforce that is globally competent, I believe we need to incorporate all of these skills in a more conscious and holistic manner, not

In fact, there are many other skills that are much more

simply emphasizing language and intercultural classes,

important than language proficiency, but due to the

but rather teaching global competency skills across the

prevalence of English language schools and the constant

curriculum. When I participated in the SAF Academic

promotions of universities about the importance of English

Internship Seminar held in Tokyo in October 2011, I

language ability, many young people unfortunately tend

strongly felt that the SAF International Career Development

to focus on language skills only. Other important skills

Programs (ICDPs) will offer practical, hands-on learning

include: (1) critical thinking, (2) persuasive communication,

opportunities to students and help them to acquire the

(3) awareness of others’ perspectives, and (4) the ability to

broad range of skills that the global workforce demands.

adapt to new ideas. These skills combined with language

Why Asian Students “Study Abroad” In Europe and North America, international undergraduate student mobility may not be as developed as some educators would like, but participation in study outside a student’s home country is not uncommon, and at some universities it is actively encouraged resulting in relatively high participation rates. There is something of a tradition of North American students taking a year or a semester abroad and transferring credit related to the experience to their home universities. In Europe the European Union encourages undergraduates to take part of their degree program in another EU country via such programs as ERASMUS. In Asia, whilst there is often much talk about international student mobility and many universities have MoUs with foreign universities facilitating study abroad, participation in such opportunities is remarkably low. Probably well below 1% of all undergraduate students “study abroad”. Against this background of relatively low participation it is particularly important to understand what motivates students Asian to study abroad.

SAF has considerable experience working with students from a number of important Asian country’s and territories and therefore is quite well positioned to comment on what motivates them to study abroad. But it is important to note that SAF only works within a network of the region’s top universities where students most academically and linguistically qualified to study abroad are to be found. In Japan - Asia’s most developed country - student motivation is akin to that of students in North America and Europe: curiosity, self-exploration, language acquisition, and career development. Student motivation in South Korea, Asia’s second major developed society is perhaps becoming closer to that of the Japanese, but in many ways reflects Korea’s recent past as a rapidly developing country with close ties to the USA. Students often see a period of study abroad at a top North American, European or Australasian university as adding value to a degree from one of their own country’s top universities; as such they tend to seek out study abroad host universities relating to rank, but

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also in relation to where many of their professors as well as

received from study abroad is a good compliment to the

politicians, accomplished business people, celebrities and others studied, especially in the 70s and 80s. Surprisingly few students from Taiwan study abroad for a year or a semester, but those that do are motivated in ways similar to their Korean counterparts. China is currently the only developing country where SAF works with some 30 of the People’s Republic’s top universities. And, as perhaps one should expect of a developing country, the almost exclusive motivation of Chinese students is to study abroad to add value to their Chinese degree. As such, university rank

academic programs of their home university. However, the university systems of most Asian developing countries are underfunded and standards are consequently more variable with students questioning the value of transferring credit from a Western university to their own.

is paramount. Many students studying abroad through the SAF International University Network are considering returning abroad to study for a post-graduate degree and seek to use their undergraduate study abroad to prepare themselves for this. In all the countries in Asia where SAF works, increasing numbers of students see their future lives and careers in an international context and seek ways to prepare themselves for this. SAF will eventually work with students at top universities elsewhere in Asia notably in developing Asia, but this will bring into focus other motivations and consequent difficulties as well as opportunities. As a developing country China is quite unique insofar as it has focused enormous resources on developing a group of relatively wellmanaged and purposeful universities of rapidly increasing accomplishment. Students attending these universities feel accomplished and confident and understand that credit

The Choshu Five

The SAF International University Network has been developed to accommodate the different backgrounds and motivations of students attending SAF member universities in Asia. Counseling students from different countries and territories requires SAF staff to understand both the higher education systems and cultures students work in as well as their individual motivation to study abroad. Whilst academic and language test scores as well as cost will influence student preferences and possibilities, SAF counselors listen carefully to students’ expectations, wishes and plans. They also review their academic backgrounds and ensure that their program of study abroad is viable both in terms of home university graduation requirements and host university regulations and expectations. This often requires several meetings over one or two years and often involves liaison with home university departments and administrative offices. Generally there are numerous opportunities for SAF to guide students toward a choice that is evidence-based and best for them.


development. They were very interested in commerce,

Kinsuke Endo: Established the Japanese National Mint

manufacturing, transportation, government and politics.

Shunsuke Ito (later Hirobumi Ito): Japan’s first Prime

Amongst the Choshu Five Yozo Yamao is known to have

Minister. Statesman

done something very close to an internship when he worked for 2 years in the shipbuilding yards of Glasgow. If we

Yakichi Nomura (later Masaru Inoue): Railway pioneer

consider what they did when they returned to Japan, their

Bunta Inoue (later Kaoru Inoue): Minister (Foreign Affairs,

study abroad experience most certainly enhanced their

Commerce, Agriculture and Home Affairs). Statesman

career prospects.

Yozo Yamao: Shipbuilding pioneer and founder of the

Today on the grounds of UCL there is an impressive monument to the Choshu Five. There are not many students who have had their period of study abroad celebrated with a monument erected by their host university. Next time you are in London and near UCL drop by and take a look.

Imperial College of Engineering as well as the Imperial College of Art, and Kobu Daigakkô, which later became the Department of Engineering at Tokyo Imperial University. Syne to Japan, which to this day is sung at graduation ceremonies and the tune used to announce the closing times of department stores and other institutions.

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Reducing Financial Barriers to Study Abroad SAF is committed to reducing barriers, particularly financial

Japan: Japanese universities have a small percentage

barriers, to international student mobility. We do this in two

of students who study abroad and most do so through

principal ways:

standard bilateral exchange programs. Until SAF began working in Japan, students who chose to study abroad

Host University Tuition Benefit:

outside exchange would be required to take a leave of

Currently SAF is cooperating with 60+ host universities and

absence and were ineligible for credit transfer. SAF has

International Career Development Program (ICDP) partners

been successful in persuading our Japanese member

in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain,

universities to end or reduce double billing, and to appoint

Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand. In recognition

SAF as an “approved study abroad provider� in order to

of (1) the promotional work SAF undertakes in Asia, (2)

facilitate transfer credit.

the quality of participants SAF is able to introduce, (3) our

Korea: Credit transfer for courses

streamlined application and

documented on an official host

enrollment processes, and

university transcript is not such

(4) onsite student support

an issue in Korea, but double-

services, 60% of SAF host

billing outside of exchange is

universities provide our

quite common. In joining the

students with a tuition

SAF International University

benefit or reduction. Some

Network, the vast majority of our

public universities allow SAF

Korean university partners took

participants to pay their

seriously the need to end or reduce

resident tuition rate while

the burden of double-billing.

other universities provide a tuition benefit or scholarship

SAF currently has 25 member SAF Students Along the River Thames, April 2012

that amounts to a 10-25% tuition reduction. As of April 2012, the average/mean tuition benefit afforded SAF participants-Academic Year: $2,733 and Semester: $1,596. Home University Tuition Benefit: Universities in Asia have been known to double-bill students

universities in Korea -- 64% of these universities provide SAF participants

with full home university tuition waivers or full waivers plus scholarships that exceed host university tuition; 34% provide SAF participants with partial home university tuition waivers; and only 1 Korean member university does not provide any financial support to SAF participants.

who choose to study abroad outside of exchange. That is,

China and Taiwan: In China and Taiwan opportunities to

traditionally students have been required to pay full tuition

study abroad outside of exchange are new and fortunately

to both the home university and the host university for their

tuition fee waivers are not much of a concern given the very

period of time abroad. Not only is double-billing common,

low tuition rates charged. The most important contribution

it is also often difficult for students to receive transfer credit,

of SAF has made in these countries is a well-articulated

even with the presentation of an official host university

method for ensuring credit transfer.

transcript. SAF has worked closely with our member universities to end the practice of double-billing and to develop policies and procedures for credit transfer. Our success varies by country.

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SAF Professional Development Program (PDP) 2012 SAF is organizing a professional development opportunity

University of London, University of Bristol, University College

in the UK this coming September 2012 for member

London, University of the Arts London and the University of

universities. The host university visit program is scheduled

Westminster. The British Council has also graciously invited

to run Saturday, September 8 to Wednesday, September

the delegation to visit their facilities in London.

12. It is anticipated the most participants will choose to attend the European Association for International Education (EAIE) Conference in Dublin, Ireland following the program. The schedule tentatively includes visits to: The

SAF will also be happy to coordinate travel to the University of Limerick for PDP participants who would like to make a visit following EAIE.

Foundation for International Education (FIE), Queen Mary,

A Warm Welcome Awaits You in Asia Each year SAF Country Offices (COs) are pleased to welcome representatives from our host universities travelling in Asia. A typical visit to an SAF CO would include a staff seminar and, when time permits, SAF accompanied visits to our Asian partner universities. This year alone we were fortunate to accommodate visits by the following SAF host university partners (partial list). SAF Office


Host University/Language Program

SAF Japan


University of Queensland

SAF Japan


University of Otago

SAF Japan


University College London

SAF China -Beijing

3-5 Oct-11

University of Colorado at Boulder

SAF Japan

3-5 Oct-11

University of Washington, ISAYA Institute

SAF Taiwan


FIE: Foundation for International Education

SAF Japan


American University

SAF Japan


Victoria University of Wellington

SAF Japan

6-8 Oct-11

FIE: Foundation for International Education

SAF Japan


University of California, Los Angeles

SAF China -Guangzhou


University College London

SAF Japan


University of Montana University of Westminster


Montana State University

SAF China -Beijing

4-6 Mar-12

SAF Japan SAF China -Shanghai


University of Colorado at Boulder

SAF Taiwan


San Jose State University

SAF China -Beijing


University of Montana

SAF Taiwan


University College London SAF Korea


University of Westminster

SAF Japan


University of California, Los Angeles FIE: Foundation for International Education


University of Montana

SAF China -Beijing

9-11 Apr-12

SAF Japan SAF Korea


University College London

SAF China -Shanghai

16-18 Apr-12

FIE: Foundation for International Education

SAF China -Beijing


University of Westminster

SAF China -Shanghai


University of California, Irvine

SAF Japan


University of Utah

SAF Korea


University of Canterbury

Photo courtesy of International Office of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (L to R): John M. Pearson, Vice President – Operations, FIE and FANG, Fanquan, Vice President, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Your visits are important to the continued professional development of the SAF staff and to building broader awareness to the value of non-degree study abroad.

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FIE Develops a Cross-Cultural Communications for Business Course for SAF Students When SAF President and Co-CEO, John Belcher,

business increasingly requires the ability to do business

approached FIE about working with Foundation students to

interculturally. As companies strive to serve international

offer internship opportunities in London, the conversation

and even global markets, they require managers located in

quickly turned to the need to identify and support the

different countries and operating across national boundaries

unique needs of non-native English speakers undertaking a

to function effectively. It is important to develop not just

professionally-focused internship. Quite frankly, it was this

an international perspective, or “global mind set”, but intercultural understanding and skills as well. This course will focus primarily on cross-cultural communication and business etiquette issues in the United Kingdom and European countries. FIE has retained the services of Robert P. K. Johnson, a lecturer, consultant and trainer specialising in intercultural communication to teach the Cross-Cultural Communications course. Robert is Lecturer in Cross-Cultural Management at the European Business School, Regent’s College, London, and a Visiting Lecturer in Professional and Business Communication at Birkbeck College, University of London. His research interests include business relations from an East Asian perspective, Japanese language and culture,

Robert Johnson teaches Cross-Cultural Communications at FIE

and politeness across cultures. In his role as a cross-cultural facilitator, Robert has delivered training programmes for numerous high-profile international clients including

discussion prompted by FIE’s Vice President – Operations, John Pearson, that let SAF know we have found the right internship partner. The course abstract states: Today’s world of global

Deloitte, EADS Astrium, Ernst & Young, Hitachi, KPMG, the Learning and Skills Council, the National School of Government, Nomura, Sony and UKTI. Robert is fluent in English and French and possesses advanced language proficiency in German and Japanese.

SAVE THE DATE ... Announcing the 6th Annual Global Internship Conference (GIC) SAF is pleased to inform colleagues of the upcoming Global Internship Conference (GIC) in Berkeley, California, June 12-15, 2012. Internships have never been so sought after, discussed, analyzed and misunderstood, and the 2012 Global Internship Conference will bring together both faculty and international educators involved in this rapidly growing field. SAF Vice President, Carol Carmody, will present From the Macro to the Micro – Providing Internships for International Students at the conference. Further information on GIC can be found at http://www. SAF will co-sponsor the 2013 GIC in Singapore. Further details will be distributed shortly.

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SAF Student Profiles Name: Xinyu Luo

Name: Masato Yamazaki

Home University: Tongji University, China

SAF Japan Newsletter)

(This article is a translation of the original text in Japanese courtesy of the

Home University: Keio University, Japan

Major: Mechanical Engineering Host University: Purdue University Duration of Study: Academic Year 2011-12

Major: Policy Management Host University: University of Colorado, Boulder Xinyu Luo attending the SAF Halloween Party, Indianapolis, Indiana, October 2011

Program Type: Academic

Duration of Study: Spring + Summer + Fall 2011 Program Type: Language + Academic Entry TOEFL: 59 iBT

Entry TOEFL: 91 iBT

Why did you study abroad?

Course Enrollment:

I lived in Singapore and Malaysia when I was little and I started to think about going overseas often after I entered college. I looked at my home university’s website to explore my options and the SAF program was most attractive to me because SAF offers a wide range of universities and program options.

• ME200 Thermodynamics 1 • ME352 Machine Design 1 • ME444 Computer-Aided Design and Prototyping

• ME497 Ecocar 2 Project

What did you gain from your study abroad experience?

• ME375 System Modeling and Analysis • ME315 Heat and Mass Transfer • CNIT155 Introduction to Object-Oriented Program • ME497 Fluid Mechanics Project

during study abroad and I feel that I learned from most of my mistakes and challenges. What do you think studying abroad will impact your future?

Why did I select Purdue? I chose Purdue because of its engineering reputation and, eventually, I realized that it deserves this reputation. The ME courses here are fantastic. But to adapt oneself to such a high-level and intense working pace and requirement within one year or even one semester is a quite hard. So, I thought

What are your future plans? I just received an email from the Purdue Graduate School and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. I have been accepted as a graduate student starting next semester. So, I’ll stay here for two more years and I hope to have the opportunity to attend the Indy 500!

First of all, I would like to maintain my English language skill because I worked hard to get where I am now. I am interested in enrolling in courses taught in English in my home university and also going to gatherings where people with diverse backgrounds meet. As for my job hunting, I

Masato Yamazaki with CU Boulder Rugby Team

I want to work in but I would like to work somewhere I can use English and learn from people with different perspectives.

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Development of the SAF International University Network After significant development and expansion from 2007 to 2011, The SAF International University Network in 2012 has matured into a stable, cohesive, consortium of leading universities. We will continue to adjust the Network in accordance to demand and other influences, but we do not anticipate a great deal of change.

NEW SAF MEMBERS 2012 China - Communication University of China China - Dalian University of Technology China - Northeastern University Japan - Chuo University US - Arizona State University US - Drexel University

Introducing New SAF Staff Program Officer – SAF China, Beijing Office Helen Zhang began working with SAF in October 2011. Helen earned a Master of Science in Service Management from Rochester Institute Technology (RIT) in New York. While a student, she was an assistant meeting planner for the RIT Corporate Education and Training Center. Helen has significant work experience in the airline and travel industries and just prior to coming to SAF she worked for Continental Airlines. Program Officer – SAF China, Beijing Office Richard Yang joined SAF in October 2011. Richard received a Bachelor of Arts from Inner Mongolia University of Technology and, during his college years, he participated in the World Connection Program which facilitates language and cultural exchange between international and American students. After graduation, Richard studied English in Hawaii for three months. Prior to joining SAF, Richard worked for Beijing Prepare Education & Consulting Corporation which counsels students interested in attending an American university. Program Officer – SAF China, Guangzhou Office Vin Su joined SAF as a program officer in December 2011. Vin graduated from Okanagan College Canada in 2009 having completed a Bachelor’s in Business. Before joining SAF, Vin worked in two counseling companies related to international education. His duties included providing students with support and recommendations in their search for an appropriate study abroad experience. Program Officer – SAF China, Shanghai Office Chris Shi jointed SAF as a program officer in August 2011. Chris obtained his Master of International Business and Bachelor of Business Economics from La Trobe University, Melbourne. Prior to his study in Australia he received a Diploma at East China Normal University where he also specialized in business. Program Officer – SAF China, Shanghai Office Jessie Jiang joined SAF as a program officer in August 2011. Jessie graduated from Shanghai Normal University where she majored in Tourism Management, and she studied abroad for one semester in the United States. Before joining SAF, Jessie worked at Neworld English

Training Centre as a part-time English tutor. Program Coordinator, Advising & Student Services – SAF Japan Yuko Kodama graduated from the University of the Sacred Heart with a degree in English Literature, after which she spent four years working at a Japanese university in the Academic Affairs Division. Yuko then travelled to Australia to further her education and earned a Master’s Degree in International Studies from The University of Adelaide in 2009. Yuko joined SAF in 2011 Program Coordinator, Advising & Student Services – SAF Japan Reiko Yoshida entered J. F. Oberlin University in 2007 and in her first year participated on a one-semester study abroad program through SAF to Gonzaga University to improve her language skills. Due to her athletic talents she subsequently transferred to a college in the United States where she studied on a soccer scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2011. Reiko joined SAF immediately upon her graduation, and is the first SAF Japan staff member to have previously studied on an SAF Program.

Program Coordinator - SAF Korea Suyeon Jo (Su) joined SAF Korea in December 2011. She is a graduate of Seoul Women’s University where she majored in Media & Communications, and she participated on a one-year exchange program at Wilson College in Pennsylvania, USA. Su is responsible for the Rikkyo University (Japan) students attending the Yonsei University Korean Language Institute (KLI) through SAF as well as general SAF program coordinating duties. Program Coordinator - SAF Korea Yeojin Lee joined the SAF as a program coordinator in October 2011. She is a graduate of the University of Idaho holding a B.A. in International Studies. Yeojin has lived, studied and worked in the United States, and she is fluent in English and Korean. Yeojin has worked as a translator, interpreter and an assistant study-abroad advisor in Korea as well as in the United States.

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