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A Warm Welcome for International Students 2024

On May 19th, The Consortium of Universities in Kumamoto hosted a welcome party for international students in Kumamoto Prefecture at the 100th Anniversary Hall, Kumamoto University (KU). With a diverse mix of fresh faces from this year's enrollment, alongside current international students, Japanese students, and faculty and staff from various institutions across Kumamoto Prefecture, the event drew in over 100 eager participants, including 40 members from KU.

Group Photo of All Attendees
Opening the festivities, Chairman Jun Otani (also the Executive Vice-President of KU) of the International Exchange Committee delivered a warm and heartfelt welcome address. He underscored Kumamoto's abundant natural beauty, ideal for both study and research, and encouraged attendees to embrace cross-cultural communication, fostering connections with people from diverse backgrounds, and actively engage in the Consortium's future events.

Opening Remarks by Chairman Jun Otani (Executive Vice-President of KU)
The welcome party was warmed up by the icebreaking activities planned by student volunteers. Participants were grouped randomly, each identified by a Japanese Kanji Tag. Participants formed circles, passing a balloon until the music stopped, whereupon the holder introduced themselves, sharing hobbies and fondness for Kumamoto. This lighthearted game fostered mutual understanding in a joyful atmosphere.

Randomly Distributed Kanji Tag for Group Sorting During Icebreaking Activity and Group 蝶 (butterfly)

The party also featured vibrant performances by students, such as a live band show, and a traditional Malaysian dance typically performed at a wedding. The highlight of the evening was the surprise appearance of Kumamon, Kumamoto’s beloved PR character. Kumamon delighted the crowd with an entertaining dance, high fives, and photo opportunities, earning loud cheers and applause.

Traditional Malaysian Dance

Kumamon’s High Five
This welcome party provided a heartwarming opportunity for international and Japanese students in Kumamoto Prefecture to forge new friendships and create lasting memories. It marked a promising start for all new international students embarking on their journey in Kumamoto, setting the stage for a rich and fulfilling experience.