“The First Field Study in Queensland”
It was our first Field Study (FS) B programme in Australia, hosted by the University of Queensland. The idea was initiated from an introduction to a personnel at the Queensland Government Tokyo Office by one of the FSA lecturers in Hawai’i. After an initial meeting at the Tokyo Office, then another meeting with Ms. Winton of ICTE-UQ, and through numerous e-mail communications with the ICTE-UQ personnel including Ms. Blanchard, a comprehensive programme was put together. During this preparatory phase, Mr. Sato of Tokyo Office gave us a special lecture on agriculture, environment and economies of Queensland. The ICTE-UQ is an extremely well-organised institute which has been hosting many programmes from various foreign institutions, and this made the programme organisation from my side much easier. Brisbane, where the main UQ campus is located, is a beautiful city with slowly flowing Brisbane River, and we can go to the university from the city taking a ferry. It was fairly hot and unexpectedly humid, nonetheless, it was relieving that all 10 female and 6 male students completed their programme fine, without being caught in any accident or illness. For the students, homestay was apparently a very fruitful experience. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of those who enabled this FS programme.
The FS programme was comprehensive with 6 English classes, 9 lectures, and 10 site visits. We were able to learn wide range of subjects, from Australian agriculture, environmental issues to the relationship between Australian agricultural products and the Japanese market. All of the contents were informative. In the beginning, there was not sufficient number of questions coming out from the students, yet as time goes by, they became more engaged and active, asking more questions. I would hope that the students, who tend to be passive in Japanese classrooms, have realised some positive changes in themselves. That would certainly be an important desirable change.