“World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development” – May 21, 2021



This is Takao Someya, Dean of the School of Engineering, with a message to our international students and their families.
May 21 is “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.” I wish to take this opportunity to share the importance of achieving better understanding of the values of cultural diversity and promoting dialogue.
There are over 1,300 students from 65 countries and regions around the world studying at the School of Engineering. I want to pay my respects to your unceasing passion towards your studies despite these difficult times prolonged by the spread of COVID-19. I also appreciate the patience and efforts of students who are still unable to come to campus. Until traveling between countries resumes, I encourage you to take advantage of the various resources that we offer in support. 
At the School of Engineering where many international students attend, we place emphasis on ease of studying and communication with international students and their families, and especially easy access to information. Important information such as guidelines on controlling infectious diseases and information on scholarships are distributed simultaneously in Japanese and English. We have released an English version of MOCHA, our original contact tracking app. Moreover, simultaneous interpretation in English, Chinese, and Korean was made available at the emergency briefing session for families of students on infection control.
The spread of COVID-19 has made us rediscover the importance of diversity and inclusion. The desire to study is independent of gender, nationality, region, age, or presence of disabilities. I firmly believe that diverse and inclusive communities are what create new academics. The School of Engineering respects the diversity of humans and their individuality. We are committed to providing an environment where everyone with a desire to learn may do so without limits.

Comments to this message.

"International students, Japanese students, and faculty members are welcome to post their comments."

  • The UTokyo School of Engineering has been consistently supportive of the international student community during the current pandemic, from the systematic travel information dissemination and quarantine accommodation last year to the current regular updates on health measures, online education support, scholarship guidance, and employment opportunities based on my personal experience. Cultural diversity and dynamic inclusion are evident strengths of the School of Engineering as constantly demonstrated in various collaborative activities for international welfare. As we celebrate this significant day, I take comfort in the knowledge that UTokyo is a fostering and encouraging academic environment for collective student progress and development. (John Andrew Kane JOVELLANA, Department of Nuclear Engineering and Management, from Philippines)

  • I feel lucky to study as an international student in the Graduate School of Engineering. The School of Engineering provides us international students with well-designed Japanese language courses where I met so many friends from all over the world. It is a pity that we could not attend off-line courses or cultural activities now, but still I learnt a lot about not only Japanese culture but also culture of other countries in classes and online events. In this special period of COVID-19 I find communication more important than ever, and I really look forward to learning more in online cultural events or off-line activities if possible in the future. (MENG Xuanlang, Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems, from China)

  • As a Master student from The University of Tokyo, I can tell that the transition from presential to online classes was done smoothly, and that all the students were given premium access to online and information tools from the very start. Also, the professors offered resources for those students that found themselves trapped in their countries, and the online seminars and presentations were held considering these special circumstances, what made possible to keep learning. That is why I want to thank Mr. Takao Someya and the staff of the School of Engineering for all their effort in this difficult time. (Bertran Rabat, Roger, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, M2, from Spain)

  • I am Dheeraj Joshi from India, MEXT scholar - Masters student at Prof. Wataru Takeuchi Lab in Department of Civil Engineering, IIS, The University of Tokyo. My alma-mater Todai, is a key global player in bridging the gap between cultures which is necessary for peace, stability and development. During COVID-19 pandemic scenario, Todai has ensured continuity in academic life through innovative use of ICT technologies and contributing to humanity through researches in understanding risks in a global networked society for a resilient and sustainable future and spread the key message of research: “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark”. (Dheeraj Joshi, Department of Civil Engineering, M2, from India)
  • As a foreign researcher working in the School of Engineering , I have been enjoying the culture diversity since the first day here. On this special day, I would like to thank the faculty of the School of Engineering for their great efforts made to maintain the academia continuity during the pandemic scenario. During these difficult days, we don't feel alone, and we will stay safe to learn and work as always.(Yan WANG, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Information Systems, Postdoctoral researcher, from China)

  • The School of Engineering, University of Tokyo has always been a global hub for International students not only for its quality of education and cutting edge research, but also for its cultural diversity and inclusion. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the school has taken all possible measures to tackle Covid-19 which includes adequate support to graduate students/postdocs to continue their research, job hunting opportunities and, most importantly, to ensure quality of life. The school is updating corona bulletin on a regular basis to notify all concerned individuals & conducting online classes, seminars, lab meetings. The “online registration system” to enter to school, reporting everyday key health conditions, unveiling apps for contact tracing are some of the good initiatives worth mentioning. On this special day "World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development”, I believe the cultural diversity will further be increased including the interaction between Japanese & International students/ faculties to keep pace with the exponential advancement of the world.(Nayeem Md Osman Goni, Electrical Engineering and Information Systems, D3, from Bangladesh)
  • The University of Tokyo has provided numerous supports for students, regardless of their identities. Since I came from Thailand to UTokyo in 2015, I felt that everyone has their own working style, ways of communication as well as unique skills. With diversity, we can also share happiness. I have been the MC of the Summer Party of Foreign Students in the Graduate School of Engineering. I have witnessed that we all, from all around the world, can have fun together. I strongly hope that the day that we can hold Summer Party to meet with students around the world.(Siwat Manomaisantiphap, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, D3, from Thailand)
  • With the advent of COVID-19 and the necessity of a shift towards the use of virtual platforms as a way of communication, we have now more opportunities for closing the distance between countries, for enhancing the cultural exchange, and therefore allowing the diversity to be included within our personal goals, research plans and life in the university. I hope the present situation we face may allows us to build bridges among communities and grow more empathy towards the other. (Jorge Alberto García Pérez, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, D2, from Colombia)

  • This is the staff members of OIS and OICE of International Affairs Group in Building No.8. We have many opportunities to be exposed to diverse culture and have been learning a lot through interactions with international students coming from various countries and studying at the School of Engineering. We feel sorry that we are not currently able to hold annual cultural events such as the big summer party, trip to Mt. Fuji, watching Sumo matches, etc., because of COVID-19. We are considering implementing new online events in the near future, so please look forward to them. All the staff will continue to do our best to support international students. (International Affairs Group, School of Engineering)