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Self Introduction No.14: Saki Hagihara

Updated: Jul 21, 2018

Please introduce yourself !


Hello! I am Saki Hagihara, a student at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. My major is African area studies, and as well as learning about Africa, I am currently studying English, French, Swahili and Chinese. Since I was living in London, England for about four years in elementary school, I became interested in the differences of education between Japan and the other countries. So, I will belong to the international education seminar from the third grade at my university and will be studying about education from now on. When I was living in London, I visited many countries in Europe and Africa, and since I have been to many countries abroad, I am interested in the relationship of Japan and foreign countries.

The reason I applied for ISC is because I really like discussing in English with international students. At university, I am interacting with exchange students actively, and not just having conversations but also discussing on certain topics are very important. I experienced the difficulties in discussing in English when I went to Berlin Model United Nations, and also in Geneva University in Switzerland for a short study abroad. However, exchanging opinions with students who have different backgrounds is a valuable experience, and would make us improve. I thought ISC is a place just like this, so I am very delighted to join. I will try my best to discuss deeply about education by cooperating with my table mates!

What do you think about your table topic?


My table topic is “21st century education”. We focus on Japanese public elementary schools and try to improve the educational system. Especially, we are thinking about soft skills that are to be taught at schools, which are creativity, communication skills and critical thinking. We think about whether these are being taught at school, and if not, how we can introduce these in the education system. I believe what is needed in 21st century education is not just knowledge but also soft skills as I stated above, and I agree with this idea. Also, soft skills should be taught in schools not just at home. At home, teaching the same level of soft skills will differ due to their environment so schools should have a responsibility in teaching it. In order to teach at school, I believe there should be group activities, debating, projects so that children work together and discuss to tackle them. By exchanging their opinions, they will be able to gain soft skills such as creativity and communication skills naturally. Teachers need to check if their children are gaining them correctly, and support those who are not good at getting them.  

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