The IDSK’s first online Winter Academy took place from February 8 to March 3, 2021 and was a great success.
Students from Dokkyo University and Hokusei Gakuen University successfully participated in the four week online course.
Japanese Universities Have Been the IDSK’s Partners for Many Years.
Each year in February, the students from Hokusei Gakuen University embark on a journey to Wittenberg to take language classes, participate in intercultural activities, and discover Potsdam, Berlin, Dresden, Meißen, Leipzig and other places, with Wittenberg as their home base. While staying with host families, they experience everyday life in Germany, taste German food, and learn more about history and culture – that’s how it’s been until this year.
This year, students could only take a virtual trip to Germany. However, the course being online made it possible for students of German to join who otherwise could only have participated in a summer program – students from Dokkyo University, for example.
Student Assistants at the “German Café”
In spite of the distance, we wanted all participants to get an opportunity to chat with German students outside the classroom. At the “German café,” participants exchanged thoughts on (student) life with COVID-19 in their respective countries, discussed the most current trends in music in Germany, talked about food and drink, and presented their home towns. They also got a chance to ask anything they had always wanted to know about Germany. Seeing that time was too short to discuss everything most times they met, the “coffee hour” seemed to be a great way of bridging the distance and facilitating intercultural exchange.
From Halle and Wittenberg to Saitama and Sapporo
The new circumstances we have found ourselves in have been difficult for many across the globe. Still, good online classes are possible if we get a little creative. Using ZOOM and Hueber’s digital textbooks, our teachers in Halle and Wittenberg were able to connect well with the students in Saitama (Japan) and Sapporo (Japan) in spite of the enormous time difference.
Thank you to everyone for a great course!