Faculty of International Studies
【国際学部】リレー・エッセイ2018(23) Sarah R. Asada "The Joys of International Research Trips"
Sarah R. Asada
In the GSE program, I teach courses about US society and culture, global issues, and social research methodology. In my zemi, students focus on how education, society, and culture interact in the US. One of the most common questions from my students is: “What kind of research do you do about education?”
My main research is about the internationalization of higher education in the US and Japan. I focus on how study abroad experiences influence individuals throughout their lives. I am also interested in how study abroad fosters deeper relationships between two countries.
In the summer of 2017, I was invited to join a research project at the JICA Research Institute (JICA研究所) about the impacts of studying abroad on national development and diplomacy in developing countries. This research project allows me the great opportunity to expand my research to the contexts of ASEAN countries. As a part of this research project, I collaborate with prominent Japanese researchers, JICA experts, and local researchers in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. I am also responsible for the case study of Vietnam, so I will visit Vietnam a number of times over the next several years.
In May, I visited Vietnam for the first time with the research team. We held meetings with various people in government ministries and universities. We also interviewed groups of university professors and government officials that studied abroad in Japan.
CityLandscape (Hanoi, Vietnam)
Vietnam National University, Hanoi (Hanoi, Vietnam)
Hanoi University of Science and Technology (Hanoi, Vietnam)
Quick Lunch Between Meetings (Hanoi, Vietnam)
In November, I joined the research team to attend international meetings in Bangkok, Thailand. We presented the research project at the “Third Stakeholders’ Meeting on Indicators for Internationalization of Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific”, which was co-organized by UNESCO Bangkok and the Graduate School of Education of the University of Tokyo. We also met our local researchers from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam to discuss the research Project.
City Landscape (Bangkok, Thailand)
International Meeting (Bangkok, Thailand)
Local Dessert (Bangkok, Thailand)
Dinner with Research Team (Bangkok, Thailand)
I have also travelled to Cambodia, England, Mexico, and the United States this year for my own research to attend meetings, conduct interviews, and make presentations at international academic conferences. During my travels, it is always a pleasure to talk with other researchers from around the world and share my research.
I am also thankful for the reminder my international travels provide me: the joys of navigating new countries and meeting people from around the world. In England, I made new friends and learned about education in various countries with researchers from Argentina, Laos, Syria, and India. This was all thanks to English being our common language. However, when English is not widely used, simple daily tasks can be difficult. In Mexico, I entered a store to ask for directions. The person said, “Yo no hablo inglés” (I don’t speak English). I then asked for directions with a small amount of Spanish I remembered from my high school days and some gestures. In the end, somehow we could communicate, and I was able to go to my next destination.
I look forward to sharing my travel experiences with students in my classes and future essays.
JICA-RI Research Project Information