異文化体験スタンプラリー – Multicultural Stamp Rally

Alice from KPIC here! I am writing from France where I am spending my summer holidays with my family after 2 years! I missed my family and friends!
京都府国際センターのアリスです! 2年ぶりにフランスに帰って、家族と一緒に夏休みを過ごしています。この記事はフランスから書いています!

On July 25th, I participated in an event organized by the Kansai branch of Campus France for Japanese high school students. Campus France is a French government agency which encourages those in higher education to study abroad in France. They have offices all over the world, and two are located in Japan, one in Tokyo and one in Kyoto.


Presenting France! フランスを紹介する!

Presenting France!

During this event, students visited various stands run by different countries, collecting stamps and listening to explanations about local life and study abroad. Five countries were represented: America, England, Australia, Canada and France, the only non English speaking country on the list. The French event was held at the French Institute in Kyoto, a French government organization in charge of promoting France and organizing various cultural events and language classes.


First group of France lovers フランスが好きな第1グループ

First group of France lovers

Around 130 high school students participated in the event, and 60 of them chose to visit the French booth. Together with the Campus France staff, I introduced France and its importance on the world stage. Indeed, France ranks first in agriculture within the European Union and is also the first country in the luxury industry worldwide. More than 250 million people in 32 countries on five continents speak French, and with French being one of the official languages of both UNO and UNESCO, speaking it is truly a strength in our increasingly globalized world.


Fun quiz!  楽しいクイズをチャレンジ!さあ、答えは?

Fun quiz!

France also ranks first among the non-English speaking countries in the number of foreign students, 4th on the world level. Moreover, with the recent visit of the French president Francois Hollande to Japan in June, it has become easier for Japanese students to get a visa and study in France. A great opportunity!


Three Japanese university students who had spent the previous year in France then talked about their experience, what was hard, what was rewarding, why they chose France, and how this experience has changed them. We also put quizzes in the presentation so high school students could win some goods, and at the end we all ate croissants together and chatted about France, what they liked from there, their current studies, and their future plans.

Japanese exchange students spoke about their experience 留学生がフランスについて語る

Japanese exchange students spoke about their experience


I was really glad to have this chance to promote my country to high school students, an audience with which I don’t have a lot of occasions to interact. I was touched by how much they loved France and really wanted to go there one day, and by their enthusiasm as well. It was really a rewarding experience to be able to help with this event, and I hope I will have other chances in the future to participate again and promote France as a wonderful study abroad opportunity!



See you in France! フランスで会いましょう!

See you in France!

Providence’s Summer Event: WaterFire プロビデンス市のサマーイベント「ウォーターファイアー」

Hi, everyone! Steven from Seika here. For this article, I’d like to do something different and tell everyone about a famous event that goes on in my hometown of Providence, Rhode Island every summer.



Photo by James Turner

The event, WaterFire, dates back to the mid-90s, when artist Barnaby Evans placed braziers on the three rivers that run through downtown Providence and lit them, creating a beautiful nighttime view. His project was so popular that the people who saw it convinced him to make it a regular event and started a non-profit organization to that end. Ever since, the number of braziers has increased, and millions of visitors, both domestic and international, come every year to see the flames dance upon the river at night.



Photo by James Turner

WaterFire is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Providence, and is valued by the local community for its role in helping revitalize downtown Providence. The average attendance on a given night is 40,000, but it can range from anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000. Despite its large scale (the annual budget is approximately 1.6 million dollars), WaterFire only receives approximately 10% of its funds from the government, with the rest coming from private citizens and businesses.


Photo by Jon Waugh


WaterFire also features other attractions besides the beauty of the flames. Examples from this year include a capoeira demonstration and a Bolivian music performance. Also, of course, with the sheer number of people attending, the atmosphere is very festive.



Photo by David Amadio

The WaterFire is a really cool event, so please be sure to visit Providence sometime in the summer and check it out!