INU Global Nursing Workshop Hiroshima 2017

Introduction

We were two bachelor students from Malmö university travelling to Hiroshima, Japan in august 2017, Camilla Perming (to the left) and Ludmila Betina (to the right). We were starting our sixth and final semester after INU workshop in Safe Quality Patient Care at Hiroshima University.

 

I, Camilla, travelled to Japan a week earlier than the workshop started because I wanted to experience Japan since I had the opportunity. I took a shinkansen to Kyoto, the former capital of Japan and the more cultural and traditional city in Japan. I would highly recommend doing so to those who are thinking of applying to the INU workshop for next year. Both Ludmila and I took some extra days to spend a little time i Tokyo after the workshop and I’m so happy that I did. Tokyo is a great and fun city!

Day 1
First day started with us meeting up with our fellow participant students from South Africa and Spain, we had met them briefly the evening before when we all arrived in Hiroshima. We took a train to Saijo where we met up with the rest of the students and had introductions and getting to know each other, followed by a lecture about LEAN theory held by representatives from Toyota. The reason for them inviting in Toyota was for us to learn about their high safety level and how we in health care can apply the same structures to avoid doing unnecessary work and to make our job working as a nurse more effective. In Sweden we learn about LEAN theory in our third semester in organisational theory but the focus was now on how applying Toyotas LEAN theory can increase patient safety.

 

Day 2
Second day started early with us going to the Peace memorial museum. We took a bus to Hiroshima city and walked through Peace Memorial Park where we got the see The Atomic bomb Dome for the first time. We only had a few minutes to stay and take some pictures which i thought was a bit disappointing. The whole day was very stressful. When we got to the museum (a bit late) we only had an hour to walk around and it wasn’t enough time to see everything. The museum wasn’t that big but I would have liked to stay longer because it was a lot to take in. It covered the whole history from making the atomic bomb to after it detonated and the time after. After the museum tour we hurried to the International Conference Centre where Mrs Keiko Ogura, an atomic bomb survivor, told us about her experience being born and raised in Hiroshima and being only eight years old when the bomb detonated. It was incredible to listen to her story; how she remembered the day the bomb detonated and the time after and how it has shaped her and other survivors life afterwards. I learned about the discrimination people experienced in Japan for being from Hiroshima. It was very inspiring to listen to her, her way of viewing the world wasn’t bitter nor in anger. She just wanted to speak up and work for a nuclear free world.
The afternoon was spent in a Call Medical Clinic which was very interesting. At the Call Medical Clinic they had MP, nurses and other specialist professions going out to homes and treating people in need of care. They could offer advanced health care treatment in the patients homes. We also had a look around their base clinic and learn more about how elderly care was provided in Japan. Most lectures were held in Japanese but we had Yumi, who worked at Hiroshima University, to translate for us.

Day 3
Early morning we took a bus to Peace Memorial Park where the University had reserved seats for us international students to take part of the Peace Memorial Ceremony. The Peace Memorial Ceremony is held each year on August 6th, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Some 50,000 local citizens and visitors, as well as ambassadors and dignitaries from around 70 countries, gather here to console the spirits of those killed by the atomic bomb and also to pray for lasting world peace. Japans prime minister Shinzo Abo delivered a speech, amongst other noteworthy figures like Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and representative from the UN. A minute of silence was held 8.15, the same time as bomb dropped to remember the dead and a call to eliminate nuclear weapons.


It was a lot of people in the area and cameras and news teams with all their camera equipment. It was very hot even though it was early in the morning. Thankfully we were given headphones so that we could hear the translator throughout the ceremony. I had had a mental picture of how this day would be like before coming to Japan, I thought it would be a day to grieve and to mourn and remember the people that had died. And it was a day to remember the horrible consequences of the bomb but most of all it was a beautiful day with people coming from all over the world celebrating peace together. It was clear that Japan was proud over how quickly they had rebuild Hiroshima and now stood for the message that atomic bombs should never again be used. So I was surprised to see that it was such a happy day. Kids were playing and laughing everywhere and people were talking and enjoying themselves. It was a wonderful atmosphere to be in.

After the peace memorial ceremony we went on a trip to Miyajima. Miyajima is an island outside Hiroshima and the island is known for its torii gate and Itsukushima shrine which is UNESCO World Heritage classed. I learned a lot of interesting and fascinating facts about Japan’s two biggest religions which are Shinto and Buddhism. Most people in Japan embrace both religions, or both religions are practised in the same family. The Japanese people were encouraged to have two religions when buddhism grew popular in Japan so there wouldn’t be fights within families or between religions. So many of the shrines in Japan is a combination between shinto and buddhism. But there are some distinctions that can show which religion is most influenced in that shrine. We got to visit two shrines, one which was mostly Shinto and another that was mostly Buddhism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the island there are wild deers living that has gotten accustomed to people so they are walking around harassing tourists for food. They tried to open our bags nibbling on almost everything so you had to be careful. I found them absolutely adorable and they were so friendly, you just had to gently push them away when they got to close.

 

The island was breathtaking, Ludmila and I took a walk on the beach down to the torii, it was low tide so we could walk underneath it. And while we were walking back we took a moment to ourselves and appreciated being in Japan and getting all these experiences. It was a beautiful day and we were halfway around the world with wonderful people, getting to take part of unique experiences and we felt so blessed. If you ask me if I thought it was worth all the effort, the extra costs and the trouble of arranging and flying  for that many hours I will promise you that it is! I loved every minute, even after eating all that damn rise! 😉

 

 

 

From the boat we could see how the mountains shaped a head with a crack in the mountains where there was a waterfall and the crack formed the eye of the head. We were told that it was one of the reasons why many japanese thought of the island as spiritual and holy place. On the picture you can see the face, it starts with the forehead to the left and then the “eye”, nose and lips. The face is looking up to the sky. In front of it is the torii.

 

We didn’t have that much time on the island though, we wanted to get back in time for the lantern ceremony. While back in Hiroshima we walked to the atomic bomb dome where we could color and make our own lanterns.

It was nice watching the lanterns with the word like “peace” or “love” written or painted on them. Some lanterns drowned but after awhile the lake started getting filled with lanterns. We didn’t stay long enough for it to become very dark since we had another full day of workshop the day after. The days were long and so hot so you got pretty tired. The apartment where we stayed were really nice though, this day we had to go the the spanish girls apartment to use the wifi to finish our presentation about swedish health care and send it in. 

 

 

Day 4
It was time for our student presentations. It was interesting and nerve wrecking. I don’t enjoy giving presentations but we pushed through it. We also got to listen to the other students presentations on how their health care system work in their countries.

After the student presentations we transferred to Mazda museum. This day was rainy and windy which was welcoming, the other days had been so extremely hot. We got a guided tour learning more about their cars and how they worked. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any pictures where they worked putting the cars together. That was the most interesting part to me, watching them work and seeing how a car is put together. Then we listened to a representative from Mazda who talked about their safety work.

Day 5
The pre-noon was spent listening to lecturer Gwen Sherwood explaining about QSEN – quality and safety education for nurses, which was a great and inspiring lecture. She has been working to improve nursing education to improve safe quality patient care and by telling us the story of Lewis, a 12 year old boy who died as a result of improper treatment lacking several patient safety measures and she made most of us cry. I was very affected by Lewis mother’s story whom Gwen worked alongside to improve patient safety in health care. The Lewis story was used as a case study that we based our group presentation on. We were divided into four groups with students with different nationalities. We were given three key words, transparency, culture and error reporting and we were given free hands in how we wanted to present these key patient safety factors implementing them into the Lewis story.

Afternoon was spent visiting Hiroshima University Hospital were we learned how japanese nurses worked from a patient safety perspective. It was very interesting and we also got to see patients rooms, nursing station and different equipment that the nurses used.

The visit was followed by another lecture in patient safety and risk management and then by a cultural activity where we were given the opportunity to try Ikebana, japanese flower arrangement. It was harder than it looked and who knew there were so many rules in how to make Ikebana?

 

Directly after we were taken to Ai Ai restaurant to eat Okonomiyaki, soul food of Hiroshima. The food was great and the entertainment equally so! Two brave students got up the to grill table to learn how to make Okonomiyaki and it was hilarious, first up was Raquel from Spain and then my partner in crime Ludmila from Sweden. Fun way to end a great and long day.

 

 

Day 6
We had a lecture by the American lecturers in system thinking, safety impacts, basic TeamStepps, team work communication and an interprofessional exercise. The lecturers drew a parallel from an NASA incident where a space crew were killed when NASA made a critical mistake than can be applied to nursing environment. The lesson learned from the NASA incident was how group culture can affect patient safety outcomes and it was relevant to the Lewis story. We got to do team exercises aswell and time to work on our presentations.

After the group work we transferred to a nursing home. The woman that ran the nursing home was very motivated to improve elderly care and I was very impressed with their different ways to stimulate the day to day live of an elderly patient living in the home. One part of their services was that they had a chef to special make the food so that it was easy to eat for the patients whom couldn’t chew but still contained the same taste and flavour as regular food. They demonstrated this with preparing a wonderful meal, we felt pretty spoiled.

After that we had an optional cultural activity to learn Kendo but unfortunately I skipped it for being very tired.

Day 7
We continued the lectures on QSEN qualities concentrating teach back as a method and SBAR communication model. Teach back as a communication strategy is used to make sure a patient understands the information that is being given to them. We had a team exercise that was a kind of domino game structured to enhanced the importance of communication and the different ways of communication strategies that we have. The exercise was to put domino bricks exactly as a picture but only one team member could see the picture and then having to direct the others in placing them as the picture.

We got time to prepare our group presentation and the cultural activity where we got to participate in a traditional tea ceremony that is called Ocha. Me and two other students got dressed up in Kimonos and photographed like models, because we were so pretty 😉 The tea ceremony was more complicated than I though, it’s not just drinking tea with a neighbour, it’s a whole process with bowing, kneeling and eating. It was fun to try. The tea is called matcha and its green and thick tea, tasted a little bitter.

Then we visited another kind of health service that helps patients with diabetes with information about preventative measures to reduce the use for dialysis, which is very common in Japan. They educate about food and other diabetes related health tips and the patients can call for information. After that we went to visit a hospice where we met nurses working with palliative care in a house that is privately owned. They didn’t make any profit and worked and lived in the same home. They were very inspiring people.

We ended the evening with a home party at one of the Japanese professors with sparklers outside. We sang and danced and ate good food and enjoyed ourselves. It was remarkable how well we got to know each other after such a short time. We were all living in a little bubble where we were all family.

 

Day 8
Day started with group exercises in SBAR, teach back and patient simulation practise, it was a great opportunity to practise what we had learned in lectures in the previous days. It was good to practise because it is harder than it sounds and the lecture demonstrated how using teach back as a method is very effective to make sure adherence with the patient is achieved. SBAR was new to many of the other students so it was a great opportunity to shine like a star 😉 We were also being subjected to a patient simulation exercise where the Lewis case was the background story and it was a way for us to feel how it feels to be unprepared and fail.

We had lunch at a traditional japanese lunch at a tofu restaurant and the rest of the day was spent filming for our group presentation and going shopping in central Hiroshima. We had so much fun this day, i laughed so much that i probably worked up some abs. We were beginning to realise that our experience were closing into an end and we started to mentally prepare ourselves for the sad day when we had to say goodbye.

Day 9

It was time for our group presentations and in my group we were very excited to present. We had lunch in the conference hall and we got our certificates. Some of us were already saying goodbye that day and we started getting a little bit sad that it was now coming to and end, the workshop had just gone by so quickly.
So the japanese students took us into central Hiroshima again to do some last shopping and we went to a restaurant where we grilled our food on the table. We had lots of ice cream and took pictures in one of those japanese gaming hall were we all crammed into a photobooth and took pictures that we were able to draw on and design before printing out. It was so much fun. We also played for stuffed animals at the game hall and I won a pokemon teddybear and we all won at least one each that we carried around under our arms in Hiroshima while laughing and joking, it was the perfect end to a great week and a half. We cried while saying our goodbyes and promised to stay in touch.

To sum up the workshop was a great rewarding experience and if you love meeting new people from different parts of the world, learning more about other cultures and traveling around Japan you should definitely apply for a scholarship.

Big in Japan – Or “How I ended up in Asia. Again.”

Konnichiwa, fellow world explorers and those to be!

Before getting into the actual interesting part regarding my experience at the INU conference on SOGI issues held at Hiroshima University August 4th – 12th 2017, I’d just quickly like to hit you with some boring stuff and introduce myself real’ quick. My name is Leah, I am currently on my 23rd lap around the sun and I have just recently graduated from Malmö University with a Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Born and raised in Germany and between finishing high school in 2012 and starting my journey with Malmö University, I had successfully dropped out of university in Amsterdam (it just wasn’t my thing…) but also worked and travelled my way through life. Never in my life would I have thought that Malmö University would be the place that would offer me so many possibilities to not only earn a degree but even more important: let me go. Yes, Malmö University wants their students to go. Go explore, go adventure, go learn, go see something new. In fact, I’ve only spent about 2 out of 3 years in Malmö itself. Within my program, I had the honor to be nominated twice for exchange studies and went to both, South Korea and Australia, in 2016. And the best thing about it? I didn’t have to take out a loan or sell my soul to the devil to do all these things.

Malmö U got you covered for the most part. Coming from a pretty average middle-class background I could have never gone without the bilateral agreements between my host universities and Malmö U. Between graduating from MAU and starting my Master of Science in Gender Studies at Lund University, I did not have many plans for my summer and so I’ve applied to basically all summer programs out there and seemed somewhat affordable. As soon as the deadline passed mid-May it was clear: I’d go back to Asia. Again. This would be my fourth time there and yet I was so excited to go. Again. Excited to go to Japan and participate in a conference with a topic I really cared for but it also meant that I would be able to go and see my friends I had made during my study exchange in South Korea after the conference. So there I was in May, planning a 1 1/2 month long trip from Sweden, home to Germany, to Amsterdam to see my friends from my first failed university experience, on to Japan for the conference and, finally, Korea for some reunion time.

So after catching up with my family in Germany and visiting my beloved Amsterdam, I finally got on a plane to Japan. My fist stop was Fukuoka because the flights to Hiroshima were just unaffordable at the time I had booked everything. Fukuoka is one of the major cities in the South of Japan and only about an hour away (given you are taking the Shinkansen aka bullet train) from Hiroshima. I had been to Japan before in 2014 and therefore already knew Tokyo and a couple of other cities, so I decided to go for the way cheaper option and just see Fukuoka. Traveling in Japan is easy. The trains are fast and comfortable (leg room for days!), however, quite expensive. You can also take intercity buses, however, it’s a little more complicated to figure out when and where to be with limited Japanese only.Arriving in Japan after a 13h flight, having had the whole aisle to myself on the way here #winning, my jet lag was so bad I feel asleep in the middle of a park as my hostel would not let me check in yet. It was hot and humid at an average of 38 degrees but a little breezy as well so it was alright. Japan, and East Asia in general, is very safe. I am usually more on the paranoid site of life but whenever I am in Korea or Japan I never feel unsafe. You can literally drop a $100 note on the street and be almost 100% sure that it will still be in the same place 40min later if the wind hasn’t blown it away. So if you feel a little uneasy about traveling on your own: start in Asia. I spent the next two days exploring and just trying to adapt to the climate and time zone before heading up to Hiroshima.

I got to the hotel late on the 3rd of August and didn’t really do much other than jumping on my hotel bed, taking a long, long shower and going to bed fairly early. The next day turned out to be quite mellow as well. We only got to meet everyone at a get-to-know-each-other-kinda-event on campus that night. We had lovely Japanese “finger food” (or should I say chopstick food, as eating with your hands is very much a no-no?) and it was fairly easy to get to talk to other students and participating teachers.

People were split up into tiny groups of approx. 7-9 students each who got assigned to one country that they would represent at a Model United Nations role play on the last day of the conference. I had the pleasure to be with Team Brazil. Throughout the week we attended workshops about all sorts of topics (mainly related to LGBT and SOGI topics)  in the morning (my favourite one being about how different cultures tend to communicate) and worked in our little groups in the afternoon. Before the week of workshops and group works, however, we got to spend two days exploring around Hiroshima. From climbing up to Hiroshima’s castle, visiting holy temples and shrines, seeing the infamous Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima island, trying all sorts of traditional food, trying Sake, seeing the atomic bomb dome, meeting and listening to the story of nuclear survivor Keiko Ogura, visiting the Peace Memorial watching Japan’s President Shinzo Abe holding a speech. You can check out my little video for non-conference related impressions:

  • How much does it cost? I received a travel grant from MAU over 3000SEK and the JASSO scholarship over 80,000 yen. Which comes to approximately 9000 – 10000SEK in total. The hotel was about 4000SEK for the whole stay. The flights came to about 10000SEK so you’ll have to make sure to have some money saved up at least.
  • How do I find cheap flights? You can fly directly into Hiroshima City or you check airports around the city such as Fukuoka or Okayama. Even airports further away such as Osaka or Tokyo might give you a good deal. Just be aware that taking the Shinkansen, the bullet train, can be VERY expensive from Tokyo to Hiroshima. Taking the train in Japan is one of the easiest, fastest and most comfortable ways of getting around though. If you are planning on traveling elsewhere you might want to consider getting a J-Rail pass which allows you to hop on and off trains for a certain amount of time (e.g. 3 days, 7 days, 14 days etc.)  You have to apply for the J-Rail pass BEFORE entering the country though.
  • Where is Hiroshima? Can I go to Tokyo? Hiroshima is located in the South of Japan. The distance between Tokyo and Hiroshima is about 900km. You can either fly or take the train between these two cities but most people just take the train as they go more frequently (every 10-15min) and can be booked more spontaneously.
  • Have you visited other cities than Hiroshima on this trip? I’ve been to Japan before and therefore didn’t feel the need to go up to Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto again. I’ve flown into Fukuoka and spent a couple of days there before heading into Hiroshima. 
  • How much time should I spend in Hiroshima prior or after the conference? As you will be exploring the city with your respective group, I don’t think you actually need to spend more time in Hiroshima itself prior or after the conference. I’d much rather use the time to go to other places.
  • Is Japan safe? Japan is probably one of the best countries to go to if you have never been to Asia or far away from home. The crime rate is insanely low. The Japanese culture is very polite. Even Japanese swear words would probably still be considered polite in other languages such as English.
  • Did you meet a lot of non-Malmö U students?  Plenty! In fact, I hardly got to see anyone else from Malmö as you get divided into different groups.
  • How was the food? JAPANESE FOOD IS INCREDIBLE. Try Okonomiyaki. You can’t leave Japan before you have tried it. Hiroshima is famous for it.
  • What about insurance? The insurance was covered by the university. 
  • On a scale from 1-10, how valuable has the experience been? To be fair, I didn’t have a ‘mind blown – never heard of this before’-kinda-moment in regard to the conference topic itself, however, it was great learning so much more about the Japanese culture and just meeting and networking with so many people from all over the world. It’s something no one can ever take away from you. You’ll come home with a full heart, that’s for sure.

Feel free to contact me in case of any questions.

Sayonara,

Leah

 

Mid Semester Break Road Trip

For mid-semester break, I was lucky enough to have my brother and my father visit me. We rented a car and explored Victoria and New South Wales. We saw the ocean and the desert, and tried to spend as much time possible in the sun. Here are some photos from the trip!

My dad, brother and the Sydney Opera House

Nymagee – an old mining town

Crimson and King parrots!

The London Bridge along the Great Ocean Road

 

Hello from Bali!

We are now on our third day of the conference and we’re busy with going to lectures, trying different traditional food activites and making a social campaign. Since the theme of the conference is “Water, Energy & Food Nexus” we all have been divided into either water, energy or food groups. So right now we are busy with walking around in Kuta and finding inspiration and scenes to shoot for our social campaigns. Between the lectures and shooting we have also tried a lot of Indonesian food! Yesterday we tried Padang food and without knowing it ate cow brain and lungs. But it was good!

Unfortunately the wifi here is really slow so we’re not able to upload any pictures right now.

Get a glimpse of Japanese culture! INU, Hiroshima

Konnichiwa!

今日は!

FALLING IN LOVE WITH TOKYO

2nd/3rd of August

Before  arriving to Hiroshima, I had an occasion to spend two wonderful days in the vibrant and dynamic city of Tokyo, staying in Nezu district with other Swedish representative- Heidi. This surrounding is perceived as  the location filled with the atmosphere of the traditional shitamachi neighborhood, informally called “good, old Tokyo”. Our cozy hotel was the first  stop in the way of getting to know inexperienced by us so far Japan.

Architecture in Tokyo

Architecture in Tokyo/ day

Architecture in Tokyo. By night

Architecture in Tokyo/ night

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tokyo crowd

Tokyo crowd

 

 

 

 

Variety keeps your mind surprised

Variety keeps your mind surprised

Japanese hospitality in the reception and in the bar, explanation of bathroom manners, experience of tiny, highly functional and compact spaces and some extra help or tips regarding sightseeing- all that we were given for a starter. Being outside, in a heartbeat  I felt stunned by the coexistence of the buildings/objects that were enormously huge or contradictory tiny -all that smartly and archly  mixed, giving me the fresh perspective on urban tissue. Two days spent in that attractive, oriental city showed me how creative human creatures and how humid the weather can be.

Nippon にっぽん

Nippon にっぽん found in one of Tokyo’s flats

JAPANESE HOSPITALITY AT  HIROSHIMA UNIVERSITY

4th of August

After two days of pure sightseeing it came the time for switching into even more international and educational environment of Hiroshima and INU Summer School. With high excitement and expectations of great adventure, we headed to the Hiroshima Prefecture, a city called Saijo, where we arrived recognizing extreme warmness and humidity with our bit tired bodies.

There we found the hotel, which was very well equipped and located close to the main station or the University, as the tour guide indicated. After quick meeting with Vesna (main coordinator in HU), and after receiving keys, we went out for the food and fun hunt! After few hours of adapting to the new surrounding, our Swedish crew joined the rest of the hotel guests and headed to the University, were our facilitators and authorities welcomed us, showing greatest wills of hospitality. The first meeting with all representatives was very exciting! We had best food served on tables and wonderful minds to discuss with. That place will definitely remain in my head as the beginning of all further good 🙂

HOW THE SPIRIT OF PEACE CAN BE SENSED IN HIROSHIMA

5th and 6th of August

These two days were absolutely moving and experiencing. First, we have visited Peace Memorial Museum, focusing on our country groups we were assigned to, making new connections and getting to know people better. What was also better known, was the story of Hiroshima and hard times it went through. And people from this city, who bravely decided to rebuild damaged places, re-creating hope and peace among inhabitants. We’ve heard personal stories from an Atomic Bomb Survivor, Keiko Ogura, who presented her point of view and shared the story of this horrible day civilians were given. From her words grief after losing some friends or family members was evident and presenting very dismal reality of that time.

trip to Miyajima

trip to Miyajima

After this meeting it was rather hard to focus on pleasurable things but all summer school participants made this time peaceful and thoughtful, enjoying rebuilt Hiroshima, all diving in sun. Lunchtime then was the perfect excuse for us for discussing and planning. That’s how we decided to have a short trip to Miyajima- heaven-like island with many deers walking freely on the streets among tourists or local people!

What we did the next day, was also extraordinary and brought us a lot of second-thoughts, as we were participating in the Peace Memorial Ceremony and a

Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima

Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima

guided tour that delivered us extra thrills as it was enriched by very meaningful stories from local people. We were also given a try of regional cookies and cup of really decent geen tea- matcha. More about green tea you can find for example here: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2041.html

 

The evening was magical and very integrative- we were participating in the Lentern Ceremony.

 “The experience of watching the warm lights of some 10,000 lanterns as they float tranquilly down the river in the dark of night, each bearing wishes for peace from the gathered attendees, has a powerful, almost other-worldly quality. The participants in this event include not only Hiroshima locals, but also many visitors who come from far and wide.” (http://visithiroshima.net)

 

GETTING TO KNOW THE SITUATION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

7th-11th of August

Those days were given over the presentations, multiple discussion panels and workshops, which were broadening our horizons in that way that we got to know the stories of Indigenous Peoples from many corners of the world. We had been given the chance to understand the differences in the way of treating Indigenous Peoples by governments of different countries. Diversity among master students participating in the whole event provided deeper insight  into the problem, expanding it into areas of more developed  and complex issues.

Part of Hiroshima University Campus

Part of Hiroshima University Campus

By reading all the papers submitted by our colleges, preparing our own presentation concerning chosen topic and by  asking questions directed to others, commenting on the strength, we were supposed to learn as much about the case as possible. Each meeting was conducted by the Master’s programme convenor, who was ensuring that everyone complies with the time limit.

My own paper work had opened the whole panel session and was based on the topic: Sustainable Development Principles as perceived by States and Indigenous Peoples; Juxtaposition or equation?

By presenting my findings and answering questions I hopefully have inspired my young friends to deal with problems of our focus in that way that they get simpler and more likely to be solved when decently discussed at the very beginning with both sides- States and Indigenous Peoples to that extent that the common content is reached and sustainable goal fulfilled along with the sustainable process. To depict the conflict situation I have used the samples from laws of opposite sites: the UN document, the concept of sustainable development, 11 descriptions and Aboriginal the Crane and Crow story containing  twelve laws altogether.

Bobby presenting his findings

Bobby presenting his findings

After presenting all the papers and analyzing it all together, as the final conclusion of the course in Hiroshima there came the time for the role-play of UN. As the master’s students, me and Sam, we were chosen to different country groups to represent them and take care of their interests, attempting to influence the positions of other students.

Final Dinner at Hiroshima University

Final Dinner at Hiroshima University

SPONTANEOUS ATTENDANCE IN SAKE FESTIVAL

12th of August

Due to my fleeting illness, I had decided to prolong a little my stay in Saijo (just one day), which turned out very well, as me and one of the newly met Japanese friends, we had spent some quality time wandering or using bikes travelling around the Saijo city. That day was topped out by the Sake festival, where the local community used to dance and sing to karaoke and celebrate the tradition of producing  Sake out of local rice.

Saijo Temple

Saijo Temple

Sake festival in Saijo

Sake festival in Saijo

That event was complete surprise for us, as we were just passing by with bikes, but lured by some very tempting, pleasant and kinda hypnotic sounds, we decided to see what’s happening and we ended up sitting among celebrating and letting the memories grow in our heads.

Unforgettable!

Regards, dear readers!

I got to visit Tokyo!!!

Before me coming to Hiroshima to participate in the INU seminars, I got the chance to spend a couple of days in Tokyo. I have never before been in Japan but it has always been on my bucket list so it is quite awesome that I was given the opportunity to go to Japan a couple of days before the start of the seminars in Hiroshima.

I arrived on the 1st of August to Tokyo from Copenhagen and later that day Karolina was joining me. We hadn’t really met before, but luckily it was super great to have someone else to explore Tokyo with. A day later we joined up with Eren to walk around Harajuku and Yoyogipark. I really enjoyed Tokyo but it left me wanting more because 2 days is not enough time to really explore Tokyo and everything it has to offer.

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Hi From Hiroshima!

This will be our first blog post from us here in Hiroshima. We want to give you a short introduction to who we are and what this INU summer school is all about. We are 5 students from Malmo University that are coming from five different programs. The group consists of three bachelor students and two master students, and we are attending the same school, which is the Hiroshima University but two different courses.

IMG_2212

Here we are with our beautiful t-shirts representing Malmö Högskola.

From the left we have Eren Demirbas who is studying a BA in International Relations, next to him we have Karolina Piatkowska studying a MA in Leadership for Sustainability , then Heidi Dimon Djurhuus studying a BA in International Migration and Ethnic Relations, last to the right is Sam Pither who is studying a MA in Political Science: Global Politics and Societal Change. In the front we have Kajsa Gullberg studying a BA in English.

The INU programs overall is Global Citizenship and Peace, and this year the special focus is on the rights of indigenous peoples all around the world. We have different workshops where we get to learn about different issues that affect indigenous peoples in different parts of the world.

All the workshop will lead up to the final day of the UN Role Play where we all have different country groups assigned to us were we have to fight for the rights of the indigenous peoples of our country.

This is a great opportunity for us to meet students from all around the world, from Australia to Peru, and learn more about their perspectives on these issues as well. We are super happy to be able to experience such a different culture as the Japanese, and to also get an insight into how it is to be at a Japanese University.

You will be hearing a lot from us this week with posts about our experiences.

Expectations vs. Reality III

This is the final post from me. I hope these few posts have been/will be helpful to anyone going to or consider going to Coventry University 🙂

Coventry is, as my British girlfriend very poetically put it, is ‘the armpit of England’. Nothing happens in Coventry. Besides, the entire town is just dirty, everything looks dirty and run down so there’s not really much to look at. The town closes down completely between 4 and 5 on weekends and then there’s Sainbury’s left that’s open, which is one of the more expensive places to go grocery shopping.

There’s nowhere really you can go for walks other than the center of the town which is all seen in less than two hours, not really any green areas and the closest cheap supermarket is 20-30 minutes away from the town center. All in all its not the most amazing town in England. Birmingham is only 20 minutes away on the train which of course is a big plus!

Coventry University hasn’t done a lot to welcome us exchange students. The induction days here was filled with short presentations about a lot of different things that weren’t relevant for Erasmus students at all (some of the people from Coventry even pointed it out themselves at the start of their presentations). A lot of the presentations were even aimed at Master students; however, most of the people that were at the presentation were Bachelor students.

There was no ‘get to know each other’ things at all during the three induction days, there wasn’t even anything like it after the induction days. All together I didn’t feel anything was done from Coventry University’s side to welcome the exchange students properly or to make the move to a different country easier.

All in all, the entire stay in Coventry has been a big let-down. Academically I haven’t gotten anything out of this term, and had I known it would be like this I wouldn’t even have applied to Coventry. I feel like I’ve wasted a term on this, instead of doing some better, more academically challenging courses back home at Malmö University. And I know I’m not alone with this feeling.

If you want some easy credits and to stay in a pretty regular and boring English town for a few months, Coventry might be something for you. But if you want to learn something useful for your further education, then Coventry isn’t the right place. Sadly.

Expectations vs. Reality II

Continued from my last post 🙂

I have six exams all together in my three courses and the longest of them is 2500 words. I spoke to some of the British students and they told me that this is the longest paper they have ever had to write – I’m doing all second year courses.

Some girls from my child language class even tried to have the deadline moved, because “three weeks aren’t enough to write 2500 words” … I was shocked when they first started pushing the teacher to move the deadline. However, they tried at three different occasions to get him to move the deadline. I’ve never experienced a bigger lack of respect for a teacher than this!

My exam in Short Story Workshop is also very different from anything I’ve ever experienced. We have to write a short story about anything we want. There’s no instructions at all, just that we have to write 2000 words, any genre and any theme we want.

Furthermore, the teachers give us feedback through the entire process. One of my teachers sits down with us, reads our entire story and gives us feedback on it. This is BEFORE we hand it in as out final exam in this class. It seems very strange to me that they are allowed to read our exam paper and correct it before the deadline.

I have spoken to people and heard from my friends about other people’s experience of Coventry University. People from other universities in Sweden, from Korea, France, The Netherlands, Germany and Spain, and everybody has the same experience as me. My Korean flat mate said “I haven’t learned anything” about my Shakespeare class. My flatmate from the Netherlands has started to view the entire stay in Coventry as “a long vacation” and spends a lot of time going on trips.

Other people are, like me, just waiting to go home, simply because there’s nothing to do here. There’s not a lot of school work, the town in pretty boring, and there’s not endless money to spend on traveling.

When I first got accepted into Coventry the choices I had when it came to accommodation was VERY limited, I could only choose between two places – Singer Hall and Priory Hall. One catered and one self-catered, however, both without en suite.

I chose Singer Hall, because it wasn’t catered and I wanted to be able to make my own food and not feel bad if I went out for dinner sometimes (on a side note it should be mentioned that catered only includes breakfast and dinner Monday-Friday).

Singer Hall is placed just outside the city center, but everything is still only 10-15 minutes away. I’ve really enjoyed living at Singer Hall up until a few weeks ago. Most of all it just looks like a residential area on the outside, it doesn’t scream student accommodation which is really nice! We have a cleaning lady coming 2-3 times a week sorting out the shared areas and most of the time it has been pretty quiet.

However, a few weeks ago the people living above me started making crazy amounts of noise from around ten at night until somewhere between one and three in the morning. I have several times called security, as it ONLY happens on school nights never in the weekends and it has resulted in me missing several lessons, simply because I don’t sleep.

Security does absolutely nothing. If they can’t hear anything when they open the front door to the flat upstairs they just leave again. I’ve spoken to the reception about it, still nothing happens. It has now been going on for basically every night in around a month and no one does anything. It is driving me and the other girls in my flat insane!

Another bad thing about Singer Hall, is the fact that they switch off the heat several hours during the day, it’s starting to get warmer outside so it’s alright now, but back when I first came here I spent the evenings wrapped up in my quilt because it was absolutely freezing. It is printed in our welcome papers that they switch off the heat, so there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done about it. Nevertheless, It gets really, really cold at times, so if you’re coming to Coventry in the Fall term bring some gooood jumpers!

… One more post to come! 😀

Expectations vs. Reality

Hi!

This is my first post on this blog and also the only one I’m going to write. However, it’s going be a three part one!

I haven’t written any other posts on this blog, simply because the entire stay here in Coventry has been a bit of a let-down to me, and I haven’t felt that anything was worth sharing.

However, I do feel an obligation to tell other people that dream of going to Coventry how it is really like over here.

When I first chose England it was with universities like Oxford and Cambridge in mind, great universities with a history of amazing teachers and with teaching of a really high and advanced level. (I got nervous about how much I would have to work I would have when I was told to choose three courses!) It was the only picture I has in my mind when thinking of universities in England. However, that is not the case when it comes to Coventry.

I’ve currently been here just over two months, and I miss Malmö! I miss having actual teaching where talking notes will be helpful – where it’s possible to take notes! I miss doing proper work, having real academic texts to read!
The level at Coventry is very, very low compared to Malmö. It most of all feels like high school most of the time. A lot of the people I have classes with don’t really seem have any respect for the teacher or the other students. In one of my classes up to 10 people talk during EVERY single class, not even whispering, they actually talk out loud and the teacher does not say anything, he just continues mumbling his lecture.

He doesn’t seem to care about teaching either. He never starts on time and always ends class before time. The classes are already only one hour long, so we only have between 35 and 45 minutes of actual teaching every time, which is just not good enough!

The class is on child language and after having mumbled his way through five different examples of children’s writing, he showed us a picture and asked how old we thought the child who had written it was. After people had tried to guess he said “well I don’t know myself, so your guess is as good as mine” … This is the level of the teaching in this class.

In my other class about Shakespeare, we also only have lectures that are an hour. We are sometimes very shortly introduced to theory about Shakespeare and his plays, but we haven’t gotten any readings apart from the actual plays. So no theory whatsoever to build any arguments on, just his plays.

In my last class, Short Story Workshop, we haven’t had to turn any writing in so far. Two months in to a writing course and not a single deadline! We have been put in ‘writers groups’ that should give each other feedback etc., but we haven’t been told how to feedback or what to look for so no one is giving feedback to anyone.

I have online lectures in this course and online tests to check that we’ve watched the lecture. However, the tests are basically just ‘how much have you memorized’ test. I haven’t learned anything from these lectures. The seminars are a bit better, they are three hour long and start out with a mini lecture, which is often really helpful.

… To be continued! 🙂