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MESSAGE 国際部長・国際教育センター長からのメッセージ

Director, Division of International Affairs
Ryoji Nakagawa
(Professor, College of International Relations)

Our Role for Students’ Best Possible Opportunities

 Before the COVID-19 crisis, the international mobility of students was increasing rapidly and study that surpassed national borders was becoming commonplace. Even among Japanese universities, Ritsumeikan University has promoted advanced initiatives, under the theme of “Beyond Borders.” We have offered a variety of programs allowing many students to experience cross-border learning, including dual and joint degree programs with foreign universities, student exchange programs with a number of partner schools that is among the largest in Japan, and single-semester or other short-term study abroad programs. We have also seen how much you have all grown through such study initiatives.
 But due to the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, these activities have all come to a sudden stop. Our university had no choice but to take various regrettable actions, such as suddenly requesting students studying overseas to return to Japan, and deciding to cancel study abroad activities right before they were to begin.
 However, since then, the use of online interaction has been gradually expanding and travel restrictions are becoming more relaxed.
 The Division of International Affairs, and various colleges and graduate schools, are designing new online international study programs and exchange projects, while at the same time preparing for actual dispatches to travel and study abroad, in anticipation of eased travel restrictions. Although it is difficult to anticipate what will happen from here on, we have established a system that can provide the best possible opportunities for international exchange under the current circumstances.
 We realize you all must have many worries and concerns, but the Division of International Affairs and other organizations will provide information on international travel conditions to different countries and online classes as necessary. Please feel free to visit the International Center on each campus for more details.


Director, Kinugasa International Education Center
Yuka Anzako
(Professor, College of Letters)

Create and Feel Connections across Borders in the “Post-Corona” Era

 The current COVID-19 crisis has left no alternative but to stop travel between countries and regions all over the world. Those of you who had wished to study overseas , who were scheduled to participate in study abroad programs, and who were planning overseas trips must have been deeply disappointed with the ban on international travel. The same globalization which has made it so much easier for people to travel internationally, has also made it that much easier for the coronavirus to spread around the world.
 On the other hand, the expansion of the Internet and SNS has enabled people across the globe to connect with each other directly and obtain information quickly, helping to prevent further spread of the virus. The ties between people that go beyond national borders have saved many lives during the COVID-19 crisis.
 Meeting people from different countries and regions and forging strong “connections” across borders will become increasingly important in the “post-corona” era.
 There is no better environment than that of a student to experience long-term study and life in other countries. Now that you have experienced the COVID-19 crisis, how about going abroad to see for yourselves what the situation is like in other places, and creating new “connections” with the people there?
 The International Education Center will do everything it can to support you.


Director, BKC International Education Center
Takamoto Itoh
(Professor, College of Science and Engineering)

Expectations toward Studying Abroad Think Again about the Reasons to Study Abroad and the Future Goals

 The first time I traveled overseas was in 1990, when I was in the second year of my master's program. It was like a whirlwind tour where I stayed in Paris, France and Berlin, Germany, for about one week to give presentations at international conferences, and then visited Opole, Poland for joint research. That was a time in which many major world events were happening one after the other. East and West Germany had just been unified, and the collapse of the Soviet Union occurred in the following year, so the hurdles to overseas travel were relatively high. I remember being particularly shocked by my first experience with passport control by border guards with automatic rifles, ladders, and large dogs when crossing the border from Germany to Poland by train. Since I was raised in an environment where no one, including my parents and relatives, had any ties to foreign countries, my first overseas trip was an immensely exciting experience and a valuable memory.
 Now, 30 years later, people can travel almost anywhere without the need for a visa, and there are essentially no obstacles to going abroad since it is now possible to gather information on foreign countries and make almost any type of reservation using the Internet. Going on overseas trips has become especially easy. For students, studying abroad has become a very common option, and with generous support from universities and other institutions, international study has become a familiar activity. Also, for graduate students in scientific fields, presentations at overseas academic conferences and joint research in other countries are almost routine events. Even when working after graduating and completing university programs, overseas business trips are becoming as normal as trips within Japan. However, the situation of COVID-19 has made it impossible for us to fully do the things that were once considered normal. I realize how regrettable and discouraging it must be for the students who had hoped to study abroad this year.
 But now, let me ask you all, what are your expectations for studying abroad? Improving your language skills, having cultural experiences, interacting with people, working at foreign companies, as a sign of status, as a popular trend, or even with no specific intention ... it will depend on each person, but any answer is fine. Gaining an interest in other countries, traveling abroad, and all the experiences gained when doing so including your hardships and failures, will never have a negative outcome, and will become powerful weapons for your life. Students may even still say that there is nothing that can be done if it is not possible to go abroad to study, or that the only chance to do so is now. But it is right now, under these circumstances making studying abroad impossible, that it is so important not to just keep saying “This is my only chance” and waste the precious time you have, but instead to find and discover the things that you can do now precisely because of the current conditions. I believe those who can do this will be able to develop the ability to succeed in whatever they do in the future. Look back and think again about the future goals that your reasons to study abroad were connected to. You may go off the normal path (the “usual”, common method of studying abroad) over the course of your life, but taking a short detour may actually lead to new roads and great discoveries.
 When the COVID-19 crisis has been resolved, please take every opportunity you wish to travel and visit other countries to your heart’s content. Personally, I highly recommend seeing Gaudi buildings and having tapas with wine in Barcelona, Spain; seeing stained glass works at cathedrals and having ham with beer in Prague, the Czech Republic; and going scuba diving and whale shark watching in Cebu, the Philippines.


Director, OIC International Education Center
Yusuke Toyoda

Turn Your Attention to Changes and Opportunities to Grow Even More

 I believe that due to the impacts of COVID-19, many students are being forced to make significant changes to their academic plans, including plans to study abroad. I feel that this is an extremely regrettable situation. However, it is precisely in these circumstances that I would like all of you to turn your attention to making the most of changes and opportunities in your daily lives. One of the campus concepts of OIC is “A Gateway to Asia,” with each of our colleges actively promoting internationalization. The College of Policy Science and College of Global Liberal Arts offer degrees in English, and the College of Business Administration has established the Department of International Business Administration, which conducts educational and academic activities that incorporate a strong international nature. Because of these efforts to promote internationalization, there are many students of Ritsumeikan University who go abroad to study, as well as many international students in all of our colleges. In addition, the Wakebayashi International Plaza, which includes an international dormitory opened at the same time as the College of Global Liberal Arts, has given opportunities to further advance the globalization of our campus. This campus is also the one currently undergoing the most dynamic changes, such as the relocation of the College of Information Science and Engineering and the College of Image Arts and Sciences to OIC.
 The most prominent goals for studying abroad are to improve language ability and acquire specialized knowledge, but it is also a chance to experience various differences in culture and customs, and to broaden your horizons. At the present time, COVID-19 is causing our own past customs to change dramatically. Although it is currently not possible to study abroad in the sense of actually visiting other places, our university is conducting cross-cultural exchange activities through the application of online methods, and is also considering projects for online international study. At the same time, I hope that you, as students attending a campus rich with variety, take full advantage of the rare opportunity to interact with many students (and international students) on the same campus amid the shifts in your daily lives resulting from the turmoil of COVID-19, and grow even more while treating the variety of changes and differences before you as important learning opportunities.

MOVIE 教職員・先輩学生からの応援メッセージ


No.0 ダイジェスト

No.1 アフターコロナの世界を見よう

No.2 バイリンガールちかさんと留学先輩の

No.3 バイリンガールちかさんと留学先輩の

No.4 ワタシ、やっぱり、行く!

No.5 これからの留学とは-教員インタビュー


No.6 立命館×UCD Global Online Studyプログラム紹介動画

No.7 立命館大学 スマート・グローバル・ラーニング構想