The Multi-Cultural Promotion Workshop-Kick the soccer balls to break the invisible walls of the campus-was held at T-ACT Project

KickChat FC*, a collaborative effort between the Tsukuba Action Project, University of Tsukuba students as well as academic staff and administrators, held its first Workshop to encourage multi-cultural communication and exchange between Japanese and international students at the University on Monday, March 14, 2022, in the 5C Building, Room 212. The event was held under the T-ACT initiative, which began as a group of international students looking to meet and interact with Japanese students over their shared love for football (soccer), especially during the present times of COVID-19 and movement restrictions, to foster better communication between one another.

* KickChat FC is a soccer club formed by members (Japanese students, international students, and faculty) of T-ACT's "Pass the Soccer Ball and Interact with Everyone!"

The 90-minute workshop was helmed by Eiji Hojo, administrative member of the Academic Service Office for Human Sciences, and facilitated by TIAS 2.0 students Christian Ebuka Okoye (Nigeria) and Suraj Bhandari (India), with 10 members attending the event (from Japan, Brazil, Vietnam, Argentina, Algeria and India). The workshop began with the members introducing themselves, and followed it up with an "Ice-Break Game", followed by the members being divided into two groups where they discussed the issues they face at the University, and their possible solutions.

While one group focused on discussing the issues - both visible and invisible - faced by both Japanese and international students, staff, researchers as well as professors on campus, the second group thought of tackling those issues with solutions, with an overwhelming majority stressing on the need for more such spaces for members as a common ground for communication.

The closing minutes of the workshop saw both the groups presenting their discussions through short presentations, which was well received by T-ACT representative Erika Kida and Research Administrator Shogo Kurihara, both of whom have been immensely supportive of our initiative.

The other members attending the event:
Benchadi Djafer (Algeria), Graduate Student, Doctoral Program in Computer Science
Kaoru Ishii (Japan), Undergraduate Student, School of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences
Muneto Takanami (Japan), Graduate Student, Joint Master's Program in International Development and Peace through Sport
Phan Cao Duong (Vietnam), Graduate Student, GS of Technology and Science
Santiago Price Torrendell (Argentina), Graduate Student, Intelligent Information Engineering
Saori Isoda (Japan), Lecturer, College of International Studies
Tanmoy Mookherjee (India), Graduate Student, TIAS 2.0
Yuri Lavinas (Brazil), Graduate Student, Doctoral Program in Computer Science

This workshop was made possible thanks to the tireless efforts of Eiji Hojo and Erika Kida, and the support we received from T-ACT. We thank the participants as well as the organizers for this opportunity, as we hope KickChat FC continues to grow through the collaborative efforts of the University staff, researchers, professors as well as students, and that this is the first of many workshops where we can continue this dialogue through our common love for football.

Celebrating the 151st{50th Anniversary of the University of Tsukuba
Celebrating the 151st{50th Anniversary of the University of Tsukuba