On October 10th, the Center for International Students and Scholars (CISS) hosted the 15th NAIST Tea Time for the students, faculty and staff of NAIST, and members of the community. This event, established under the NAIST TGU project plan, was held as part of NAIST's mission to maintain a global campus and offer various support to the international community.
With many new international students entering NAIST this fall, CISS focused on offering information to incoming students to help them start their lives in Japan and introducing some Japanese refreshments. Volunteers from the newly established NAIST International Student Ambassador Program offered to talk about their experiences at NAIST and presented various useful information from the students' perspective.
The CISS advisor/coordinator Robert King first introduced the three snacks that were served that day, explaining what they are made of and how they are made, and then the audience tried them. Locally-produced Takayama kakimochi (deep-fried rice cake), kuriyokan (red bean cakes with chestnuts), and rakugan (a traditional, colorful hard candy) were then served along with warm green tea.
After everyone tried the foods and got acquainted with each other a little, two Ambassadors from the NAIST International Student Ambassador Program, Steffen Seitz and Md. Rejaul Karim, gave brief presentations for the incoming students, so that they can adjust to life in their new academic environment easily and also quickly get accustomed to life in Ikoma and the Kansai, both of which have much to offer.
Finally, there were a few questions about the presentations and the ambassadors and other students gave more information to help the new students.
Roughly 50 students, faculty, and staff, and members of the surrounding community attended the 15th NAIST Tea Time, and was a good opportunity for people to build ties outside of their laboratories.