START Program Sent 132 Students to Five Countries

From February through March 2018, Hiroshima University sent its 132 undergraduates to five countries and regions through its unique “START Program” (*).

The participants attended pre-study abroad session for three months and follow-up (post-study abroad) session after returning to Japan.

The achievements in the academic year 2017 are as follows:

The 48th START Program (Spain)

Period: February 16th thru March 4th
Destination: Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona)
Participants: 24 first-year students
Leaders: Assoc. Prof. Kazutoshi Suzuki (Graduate School of Social Sciences) and 1 other staff member

Observing Modernismo architecture buildings in Reus

Field study at a Spanish Civil War site

The 49th START Program (Australia)

Period: February 23rd thru March 12th
Destination: Flinders University (Adelaide)
Participants: 30 first-year students
Leaders: Prof. Hideki Kuwajima (Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences) and 2 other staff members

At the top of Mt. Lofty, commanding a full view of the City of Adelaide

English language lesson

The 50th START Program (Taiwan)

Period: March 1st thru March 15th
Destination: National Central University (Taoyuan)
Participants: 24 first-year students
Leaders: Prof. Hiroshi Arami (Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences) and 2 other staff members

Observing the temples in Taijiang National Park (Tainan)

Releasing a sky lantern at the Shifen Station (New Taipei City)

The 51st START Program (New Zealand)

Period: March 2nd thru March 19th
Destination: University of Auckland (Auckland)
Participants: 30 first-year students
Leaders: Assoc. Prof. Robert Horst Taferner (Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences) and 2 other staff members

Training at Mangere Mountain Education Centre

Introducing Japanese culture to local elementary school children

The 52nd START Program (Vietnam)

Period: March 7th thru March 21st
Destination: University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City (Ho Chi Minh City)
Participants: 24 first-year students
Leaders: Lecturer Aaron Claude Sponseller (Graduate School of Education) and 2 other staff members

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon (in the process of being restored)

Having a discussion about peace with Vietnamese students

(*) The START Program, aims to send first-year students who have little or no experience in overseas travel to experience classes and everyday life at an overseas partner university and thus fostering interest in cross-cultural exchange and long-term abroad study. Established in 2010, by the end of the academic year 2017 the START Program has already been held 52 times. From 2017, we launched the step-up program called START+ Program for second and third year students. This program fees are supported by the Hiroshima University Fund and other patrons, giving more students the opportunity to study abroad with less financial burden.

Moreover, the START Program is offered as a general education credited course (‘Overseas Field Study’), aiming to improve participating students’ global core competency (the core skills needed to succeed anywhere in the world). Self-evaluation sessions are conducted three times (before, during, and after the study-abroad program) and students can plan their actions based on the result of their Global Core Competency. After receiving feedback from supervising teachers, students will refine and put their plans into action. Assessment is made by comprehensively evaluating the development of the student’s Global Core Competency based on their participation attitude, presentation during the program, and report after the program.

After returning to Japan students set personal goals for TOEIC test and continue learning even after they completed the program.

For details of START Program, click here

International Exchange Group, Hiroshima University
Tel. 082-424-4346/4551
E-mail: kokusai-ryugaku(AT)
(Please replace (AT) with @.)