SAF Japan hosted the ‘Japan Partner Industry Update’ Webinar to SAF sending institution representatives. The webinar highlighted the momentous changes taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic including fundamental shifts in how internationalization, international exchange and university policy fit together. As well the webinar covered the COVID-19 pandemic and changes to student mobility at SAF host institutions and the potential impact on Japanese student and institutions. Brett Rumminger, Michiyo Fujimoto, Carol Carmody, Amber Mercier and Wakako Wengel co-paneled. Let’s take a look at a few key insights.
Students are resilient
The panelists emphasized the resilience of students. They detailed the great lengths students continue to go to in order to realize their international study goals. While the uncertainty of 2020 made the will and resilience of Japanese students even more clear, equally true was the necessity of planning. In Carol’s words, “Crisis planning is essential and insurance matters.”
Extensive planning is a prerequisite
The panelists highlighted IES Abroad and SAF’s structural advantages to crisis response. For SAF, comprehensive student health, safety and crisis management requires a combination of advanced crisis management planning, a professional team trained in crisis management protocols, a Dean of Students Office available 24/7 for support, and global awareness and warning tools that allow us to understand and act on crises as soon as they occur.
In outlining SAF’s initiatives for 2021 the panelists emphasized quality assurance throughout every step of the process. “We carefully examine and provide programs of overseas SAF member universities one by one.”
Virtual program development
The presentation offered virtual customized programing advise with the panelists emphasizing the following:
- Consider a program suitable for Japanese students (hours, language skills, etc.)
- Build the entire class hours so that credits can be awarded
- Consider the ratio of synchronous (two-way lessons) and asynchronous (on-demand lessons, etc.)
- Enrich virtual cross-cultural exchange
- Offer all-encompassing virtual orientation and extracurricular activities such as SAF Beyond the Classroom
The event was co-paneled by Brett Rumminger, Michiyo Fujimoto, Carol Carmody, Amber Mercier and Wakako Wengel. Brett is the Director of SAF Japan. Michi is the Manager, Network Development, Program & Student Services of SAF Japan. Carol is SAF’s Executive Director. Amber is IES Abroad and SAF’s Vice President for Strategy, New Business Initiatives, and Analytics. Wakako is the Manager, Program & Student Services of SAF Japan.
Interested to hear more? Let us know and we’ll be happy to share more details on past webinars and information on upcoming events.