33 Japanese students are attending Study Abroad programmes for two weeks at the URV’s Catalunya Campus. The programmes consist of the International Seminar on Human Rights and a course on Spanish language and culture, the latter in conjunction with the Start programme from Hiroshima University. The Japanese university and the URV are members of the International Network of Universities (INU) and both institutions have been collaborating with each other for a long time. Last year they signed an agreement to collaborate in student exchanges and Hiroshima University’s rector, Mitsuo Ochi, visited the URV for the first time.
The students who have come to the URV have finished the first year of their studies and are enrolled on courses in different disciplines. At the Catalunya Campus they receive classes from various professors from the faculties of Arts, Law and Nursing, they work with the URV students and stay with families in Tarragona.
On Monday 13 March, a welcome event was held to provide them with information that will be helpful during their time here. Participating in the event were Esther Forgas, director of the Centre for Hispanic Studies; Antoni Pigrau, the dean of the Faculty of Law, Roser Ricomà, the dean of the Faculty of Nursing, and Víctor Merino, professor of Public Law.
A group of twenty Japanese students are following the course on Spanish language and culture, organized by the Centre for Hispanic Studies and coordinated by professor Sandra Iglesia (Department of Romance Studies). The course forms part of Hiroshima University’s Start programme, which promotes the internationalisation of its students when they complete the first year of their degrees. In addition to language classes, they do practical classes with students from the URV’s University Master’s Degree in Spanish as a Foreign Language. In the afternoons, they attend cultural classes on the role of Spain in the world today, the Spanish Civil War, Gaudí and Catalan Modernism and Roman civil architecture, among other subjects.
A second group of thirteen Japanese students are participating in the International Seminar: Human Rights and Social Security, coordinated by professor Víctor Merino from the Department of Public Law. In the mornings, the seminars deal with general issues regarding human rights, such as the legal protection of these rights, environmental degradation and human displacement, as well as more specific themes such as access to public Health in Catalonia and Spain. The Japanese students also get to work with URV students on joint projects. In the afternoons, they can attend programmed cultural events.
In addition to these seminars, the students go on cultural visits around Roman Tarragona and Modernist Reus, to wineries, to sites from the Battle of the River Ebro, to Món Sant Benet and to watch and participate in human towers.
The URV Foundation is responsible for organising the Study Abroad programmes.