Short courses, impact, and follow up: A case study of a group of Japanese students visiting the UK

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Asami Nakayama, Nagoya Gakuin University; Joanne Hah Sixian, Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore; Steve Mann, University of Warwick

The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has made it a priority for universities to send students to foreign countries in order to encourage internationalisation and strengthen Japan’s position in the global marketplace. To respond to this push, most universities in Japan offer study abroad programmes. Existing research examines mainly predeparture preparations for such overseas short programmes (OSPs) and reports on a general positive gain in terms of language and cultural awareness. However, little research has been conducted into the follow-up or the impact of such programmes. We investigated Japanese students who attended a six-week OSP in the UK through qualitative interviews. We interviewed them during the course and after returning to Japan. The findings suggest that there is little post-course follow-up provided to the students. This article aims to establish the nature of the problem and suggest some ways to achieve greater OSP impact.