National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism
Bunkyo Gakuin College－Improving Language Skill and Business Capability
- International-Friendly Campus for Improving Language
- Integration with Practical Work for Experiencing Culture by Participation
- Breaking the Boundary for Expanding International Perspective
Bunkyo Gakuin University was founded in 1991 and is a girls’ school. Under the educational philosophy of independence and symbiosis, it aims to teach students to become contributors to society and implements energetic educational activities. This college has two campuses – one in Saitama Prefecture and Hongo Campus in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. At present, students in NKUHT are mainly arranged to study abroad in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. It is adjacent to the top university in Japan, the University of Tokyo, and consists of four departments and four institutes with about 5,000 students.
Since the National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism signed an overseas training and internship program contract with Bunkyo Gakuin College in 2013, the two parties have been actively engaged in academic exchanges and cooperation activities. Every year, we and Bunkyo Gakuin College sign a mutual exchange study for 2 students for one year. Through a fair review system, students with excellent academic performance and Japanese proficiency are selected to go to the school and study in the foreign language department of the school, so that students have a variety of choices for foreign language learning, such as Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, etc. Its courses include entry level courses and medium level courses. As for the Japanese language course, students are allowed to advance Japanese skills and to understand Japan’s development process, history and culture from a Japanese perspective. In addition to language learning, Japanese can also be applied to learn international management, international cooperation, international culture, English education and other diversified courses on campus. Therefore, the multi-language learning environment in this campus does not only attract many excellent international students to communicate with each other but also improves students’ language communication, listening capability and speaking capability, as well as interpersonal communication and interaction.
In addition to the regular professional courses, students need to participate in overseas practical work during the junior year to integrate theory and practical work, which help apply what they have learned. Students studying at this affiliated school in Japan are arranged for internships at Poem Café in Tokyo, where they are serving as waiter/waitress, interacting with customers, familiarizing themselves with various types of coffee beans, meals and dessert making. Especially in professional coffee shops, they can further focus themselves on various domains in the coffee industry, from coffee flavors, fine grinding, roasting degree, hand-punching methods, latte art, etc., gradually acquainting themselves with Japanese coffee culture.
In the workplace, especially the small shops hidden in the alleys and streets, there is great human warmth. The sincere communication between the shop employees and the customer is like the interaction between the old friends who have been acquainted for a long time. At work, they need to memorize the preferences of each guest, not only to make the guests feel at home but also to interact with more guests to learn the Japanese culture of hospitality. Over time, the guests also treat students like their friends. At the beginning, they may encounter problems due to lack of language adaptability or work knowledge, but the pressure in workplace makes people learn that they need to be competent. When interacting with customers, they may encounter unfamiliar Japanese or English words for requesting services. They need to learn from the setbacks and change. As for the work, colleagues and supervisors also patiently taught and assisted like teachers or friends. Under the friendly atmosphere in the shop, everyone attentively works together, and has achieved and learned something!
During the exchange in Japan, in addition to on-campus study and internships, students can experience various Japanese cultures in their free time, from flower arrangements, tea ceremony to religious festivals, and learn about the origins and traditional values of Japanese culture. In the various cultural experience activities or on-campus activities that the school specifically holds for international students, it is not only a chance to meet local culture and get closer to Japanese life, but also a chance to interact with international students from other countries. International students from all over the world speak in English and Japanese as common languages. Sincere interactions between friends make language not an obstacle, but a tool to help everyone get to know each other. In addition to making students from all over the world feel the sincere welcome and local enthusiasm, on campus, they can also bravely try and learn in all aspects. On the other hand, in the practical work experience, from the long-term relationship between colleagues and guests, students can improve their skills in every respect, such as the interaction with people, the serious and responsible attitude at work, the mutual cooperation between colleagues and the working spirit of craftsmanship. A full one-year internship will broaden students’ international horizons and enhance their adaptability to a multicultural society in the future.