High school students from India and Vietnam visit Hokkaido University

University News | July 03, 2018

On June 19, 2018, more than fifty high school students from India and Vietnam visited Hokkaido University as part of the “SAKURA Science” program, a Japan-Asia youth exchange in science run by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). The program aims to raise the interest of young people throughout Asia in leading Japanese science and technology in universities, research institutions, and private companies.

The students were first split into groups and visited the cutting-edge laboratories at the Research Institute for Electronic Science, the Institute for Catalysis, and the Institute for Genetic Medicine. Students who visited Professor Masaaki Murakami’s Molecular Neuroimmunology lab were given a short lecture about chronic inflammation and the molecular mechanism behind such conditions. They then worked with laboratory members to try staining tissue samples of mice, which is a common method to analyze tissue structure and functions.

The high school students during the lab visit.

After the laboratory visits, Professor So Kawanobe of the Institute for International Collaboration gave a presentation introducing the history and the charms of the university. Associate Professor Hironori Sasada and Assistant Professor Ruifeng Zhou explained the opportunities to study in the Modern Japanese Studies Program (MJSP) and the Integrated Science Program (ISP) respectively; both are bachelor’s degree programs for international students. In addition, ISP Assistant Professor Alexander Pettitt gave a short lecture on physics with a particular focus on gravity, which was followed by active Q&A session with the students. Between the talks, the students enjoyed lunch with Hokkaido University graduate and undergraduate students from India and Vietnam.

“I want to study biology and chemistry, and their application to medicine in the future. I’m impressed by the beautiful campus and the high-tech facilities of the lab I visited,” said Jalan Sumair, one of the participants from India. Tran Mai Anh from Vietnam also enjoyed the visit and commented “I’m interested in chemistry as well as humanity and culture. I feel Japan and my country have some cultural similarities, and that makes me interested in studying in Japan.”