General Incorporated Association Asia Association of Education and Exchange

アジア地域の学生の交流を推進し、我が国の若者のグローバル化に貢献します

About AAEE

AAEE's Mission

Asia's future depends on the young generation.
General Incorporated Association AAEE has three main goals. The first goal is to promote mutual understanding among students and educators in the Asian region through a variety of activities, such as exchange programs for students and teachers, regular study meetings, sharing ideas on our webpage. The second goal is to resolve current educational problems in Asia in cooperation with teachers and researchers. AAEE continuously works hard to build a system in order to foster human resources which can actively contribute to the development of Asia. And the third is to actively support individuals or groups who are devoting themselves to the development of educational activities or students' exchange in Asia. We appreciate your kind support.

What's AAEE

Since our research team was established, we visited many different educational institutions in Asian countries. There, we had the opportunity to observe and exchange ideas with teachers and students. Through these visits, we were able to experience first-hand the diversity of educational systems in Asian countries, which attribute to various factors such as their culture, religions, or social and political systems. We regard this educational diversity as an advantage and would like to find and integrate strong points of education from each country in order to develop better educational systems. A better educational system will bring forth students who will be able to make better contributions to the development of the Asian regions. Traditionally, it was our belief that children from financially stable countries receive a good education but financially challenged countries would give only poor educational services to children. This is only partly true. But it is also true that some developed countries are facing very serious educational problems which are not easy to solve, and students in developing countries often live and study happily in spite of an unsatisfactory educational environment. There are different levels and different kinds of problems in education in each country, the solution to each problem should then be different. The concept of our research group is to share these problems between each of the countries and cooperate to solve them. We have learned, from our activities, that there is a lot to learn from understanding education in other countries. The purpose of our research group is to have interactions with people related to education in Asian regions, such as teachers, scholars, and students to exchange ideas and understanding each other to cooperatively improve the educational system in the Asian region.

Vision

To promote student and educational exchange in the Asian region, and to nurture young people who will be able to live hand in hand with the youth of the world in an era of multicultural conviviality.

This organization was established in 2008 with the aim of actively promoting student and educational exchange in Asia.

In today's diverse society, there is a shift from Japan accepting diversity from the outside within the framework of Japan, to Japan leaping out of the framework and aiming for the same level as the rest of the world. The AAEE aims to nurture human resources who can step out of their "comfort zone" and challenge the world from "home" to "outside".

AAEE Method

The AAEE Method Mission is to seek solutions to our common problems by communicating with others, transcending differences in countries, regions and cultures.     

→In order to achieve this goal, students will acquire the ability to think and act independently and to be tolerant of other cultures.

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1. Building an attitude toward others

・To be able to understand that people around the world, as human beings living on the same planet, have common problems and concerns regardless of national or ethnic differences.

・Understand that people around the world have common problems and concerns regardless of nationality or ethnicity.

・Understand that there are various ways to recognize and approach problems and concerns depending on the cultural background of the society and the individual.

2. Acquire knowledge of various issues (energy, environmental conservation, poverty, gender, ...)

・Understand the characteristics of problems

・Understand the background, history, and cause and effect of the problem.

・Understand that problems are not unique to a particular region or group, but are common throughout the world.

・Understand that problems are not unique to a particular region or group, but are common throughout the world.

3. Understand how to approach problem-solving

・Understand that the cultural background of society and individuals is diverse.

・Understand that there are various ways of understanding, recognizing, and dealing with problems, and that they are sometimes in conflict with each other depending on the position.

・Understand that in order to solve problems, people around the world must work together as global citizens, transcending national and ethnic frameworks.

・Understand that solving problems is not left to specific experts, but requires active efforts by the general public, including students. 

4. awareness of the problem, opinions, and consideration of solutions

・To be able to proactively express questions and opinions, and to collaborate with other students to deepen the discussion

・To be able to discuss and summarize different opinions and to consider countermeasures

・Communicate with other students, faculty, and experts to deepen understanding of multicultural understanding, coexistence, and globalization. 

5. Practice interacting with others in a multicultural society

・Understand the diversity and commonality of cultures and be able to interact smoothly with others.

・To be able to interact with people from all over the world without being bound by stereotypical perceptions of Japanese people or group consciousness as Japanese.

・To be able to discuss various global issues with people from all over the world and to construct countermeasures.

6. summary

・To be able to express one's own ideas about multicultural understanding, coexistence, and globalization by utilizing the knowledge and experiences gained up to that point.

・To be able to summarize one's own actions and learning guidelines for enhancing multicultural literacy after the program.

・To be able to articulate one's own role and guidelines for action as a global citizen

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History

Activities

Student Exchange Programs

AAEE's Student Exchange Program is an educational program that aims to enhance participants' multicultural understanding, multicultural communication skills, English language skills, and motivation to learn English through student exchange. Since 2008, the AAEE has held international student exchange programs in Nepal, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and other Asian countries. In recent years, the Vietnam-Japan Exchange Program (VJEP) in Vietnam and the Mero Sathi Project in Nepal have held annual programs, and since 2012, a total of 25 programs have been held: 9 in Vietnam and 16 in Nepal. Other students and educational exchange activities are also regularly held in Thailand.        

The participants consist of Japanese students and students from the host country of the program. In 2008, we launched the International Student Exchange Program. In recent years, however, the program has expanded beyond student exchange to include international cooperation projects and specific research projects, in which students from both countries work together to solve global issues and build relationships of trust. For example, in Nepal, students from both countries took the initiative in reconstruction support activities immediately after the Nepal earthquake. In Vietnam, we have been discussing environmental and educational issues with a focus on the SDGs, and since 2018, we have been focusing on getting students in both countries to think concretely about global issues by conducting specific issue surveys in each exchange program. The specific activities vary from program to program, but all programs are developed by the representative director in accordance with the theoretical framework while incorporating the wishes of the participants.

Mero Sathi Project

The Mero Sathi Project was launched by AAEE students in Japan in response to the earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015. This project was a big hit because of the panels that were created and sent out to the world. The name of this project is easy to understand, and it has become widely recognized in Nepal. The project was temporarily terminated in the middle of 2017 as an emergency project to support earthquake reconstruction, but there were strong requests to continue it as an international friendship project, so we decided to restart it at the end of 2017. It is now being used not only as a name for the earthquake reconstruction project, but also as a name for international exchange programs implemented in Nepal, and is widely known in the region.

Goat Shelter Project

This is a project to support the reconstruction of disaster victims and the affected areas by using the funds raised by the Mero Sathi Project. A goat shed and seed goats are provided to the victims who lost their homes and jobs. With AAEE Nepal as an intermediary, 50% of the profits will be used to support education in the region.

Team Mero Sathi

TMS is a new project launched by AAEE in 2018 to provide on-site classes to junior and senior high schools. As part of our domestic educational activities, instructors who have participated in AAEE's international student exchange programs in the past will share with junior high and high school students who will be going out into the wider world what they have learned, experienced and stimulated through the programs, as well as what they think and feel about overseas countries. The purpose of this program is to give back to junior high and high school students who will be going out into the world. In the future, we will also conduct activities for university students.

Objectives of the class

We aim to achieve the following goals for junior high and high school students.

(1) To broaden the range of diversity and to recognize its importance.

(2) Recognize the value of interacting with people of different languages and cultures.

(3) To be aware of the existence of people (others) who are different from oneself.

A.A.E.E. NEPAL

A.A.E.E. NEPAL is a government-accredited company established in 2016, based in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The following is a brief history of its establishment.

Representative Director Seki has been involved in student exchange activities and educational support activities in Nepal since 2008. One of the issues that troubled him the most was the outflow of excellent young human resources from Nepal. As a late-developing country, Nepal has overwhelmingly few employment opportunities, and many of the talented university students who have studied hard are unable to find jobs after graduation. As a result, students are always on the lookout for employment opportunities in and out of the country.                             

In 2015, he was impressed by a very instructive and enthusiastic university professor in Nepal (who also served as the Attorney General) who emphatically stated, "If we don't somehow keep excellent human resources in Nepal and let them contribute to the country's development, this country will not develop forever," and I wanted to help somehow, which led me to establish my company. The idea of creating a place where Nepali students could work in Japan for the development of education in their own country came to me, and I began to formulate a plan. Since then, we have been steadily making preparations and finally received the government approval in November 2016. Our main tasks are to analyze and propose various problems in Nepal, mainly in the field of education, to collaborate with overseas educational researchers who are interested in Nepal's educational problems, to support students, and to organize events for students. The president, Sharad Kumar Sharma, is a student of the professor. He has won many awards in international competitions, and is working hard to qualify as a lawyer in Nepal with the goal of developing Nepal. The other members of A.A.E.E. NEPAL are mainly young people. Most of the initial funds necessary for the establishment of the company were provided by Representative Director Seki at his own expense, but we would like to support the Nepalese staff in their self-help efforts so that they can continue somehow.

Activity Results

-Domestic (Japan)

December 2020: "Multicultural Conviviality" Online Study Session Series (1) "Thinking about Intersectionality: Finding Your Own Identity Beyond the Framework of Nationality, Race, Religion and Language" (in Zoom)

November 2020: Event supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and JICA Chikyu Hiroba: "The Infinite Possibilities of Online International Exchange: Our Global Partnership in the Corona Disaster" (at Zoom, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and JICA Chikyu Hiroba)

May 2020: "Multicultural Conviviality at Home and Abroad: International Exchange Connecting Heart to Heart" (at JICA Chikyu Hiroba, supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JICA Tokyo, and JICA Chikyu Hiroba)

December 2019: "Your NORMAL is not NORMAL - Feel and Learn Diversity in Nepal" and February Nepal Program Briefing Session (at JICA Chikyu Hiroba, supported by JICA Chikyu Hiroba)

November 2019: "Exchange, Friendship, and Global Partnership: Student Exchange Program in the Age of Multicultural Conviviality" (at JICA Chikyu Hiroba, supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA Chikyu Hiroba)

May 2019: "What International Cooperation Can Be Done Only by Students - Case Study of International Student Exchange Program and Nepal Earthquake Reconstruction Support" (at JICA Chikyu Hiroba and JICA Kansai Center, supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA Chikyu Hiroba)

November 2018: "AAEE's 10th Anniversary Special Program! 2-week International Student Exchange: A Step Toward Global Partnership" (at JICA Chikyu Hiroba, supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA Chikyu Hiroba)

August 2018: Team Mero Sathi 1st "Mero Sathi Project: Students' Challenge - One Step Forward, the World Will Change" (at JICA Chikyu Hiroba, supported by JICA Chikyu Hiroba)

June 2018: Mero Sathi Project 2018 Lecture 2: "Learning from Nepal Support Activities - What We Want for Young People in Japan" (at Tokyo Keizai University, co-organized with Akinori Seki Seminar, Tokyo Keizai University)

May 2018: "AAEE 10th Anniversary Special Event! -Laughing, Learning, and Feeling Together: International Exchange and Cooperation That Only Students Can Do" (at JICA Chikyu Hiroba, supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA Chikyu Hiroba)

November 2017: "Student Exchange in Asia: Seeing the Local, Thinking with Young People - From Imagination to Reality" (at JICA Chikyu Hiroba, supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA Chikyu Hiroba)

July 2017: Charity Lecture by Mr. Kazumasa Kakimi (at Tokyo Keizai University, Room B102, co-organized with Akinori Seki Seminar, Tokyo Keizai University)

May 2017: "Thinking about Asian Youth and Future from SDGs" (at JICA Chikyu Hiroba, supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA Chikyu Hiroba)

December 2016: "SDGs, Let's Build a Circle of Partnership - Towards a Sustainable World in 14 Years" (at Tokyo Keizai University, supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA)

July 2016: Lecture by OK Bajaj (Kazumasa Kakimi, Nepalese aid worker) (at Tokyo Keizai University, co-organized with Akinori Seki Seminar, Tokyo Keizai University)

June 2016: Seminar held at JICA Chikyu Hiroba 10th Anniversary Thanksgiving Day (JICA Chikyu Hiroba)

January 2016: "Mero Sathi Project Report Meeting" (at Tokyo Keizai University, supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA)

May 2015: "Nepal Earthquake Emergency Support Charity Program" (at JICA Chikyu Hiroba, supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA)

November 2014: "Young people, let's communicate with the world and Asia! (at JICA Chikyu Hiroba, supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and JICA)

October 2014 - January 2015: "Young People, Let's Exchange with the World and Asia! Lecture series (co-organized with Tokyo Keizai University)

-International

November 2020 Mero Sathi Project International Student Online Summit 2020 (by Nepalese and Japanese students, in collaboration with Akinori Seki Seminar, Tokyo Keizai University)

July-November 2020 Mero Sathi Project Japan-Nepal Student Exchange Program (Online, in collaboration with Akinori Seki Seminar, Tokyo Keizai University)

September 2020 BJEP International Student Online Summit 2020 (by Bangladeshi and Japanese students)

August-September 2020 Bangladesh-Japan Student Exchange Program (Online) 

Aug. 2020 Vietnam-Japan Student Exchange Program (Online)

February 2020 Mero Sathi Project Japan-Nepal Student Exchange Program (various locations in Nepal)

September 2019: Nepal-Japan International Student Summit 2019 (Theme: Happiness and Education in Nepal)

September 2019: Mero Sathi Project Japan-Nepal Student Exchange Program (various places in Nepal, in cooperation with Akinori Seki Seminar, Tokyo Keizai University)

Aug. 2019: Mero Sathi Project Japan-Nepal Student Exchange Program (various places in Nepal)

August 2019: VJEP2019 Vietnam-Japan Student Exchange Program (Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City and Vinh Phuc Province)

February 2019: Mero Sathi Project Japan-Nepal Student Exchange Program (various places in Nepal)

September 2018: VJYE2018 Vietnam-Japan Student Exchange Program (Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City and Phan Thiet, Vietnam

In collaboration with Akinori Seki's seminar at Tokyo Keizai University)

Aug. 2018: VJEP2018 Vietnam-Japan Student Exchange Program (Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City and Vinh Phuc Province)

Feb. 2018: Mero Sathi Project Japan-Nepal Student Exchange Project (various locations in Nepal)

September 2017: Mero Sathi Project International Student Exchange Project (Nepal, in collaboration with Akinori Seki Seminar, Tokyo Keizai University)

Aug. 2017: VJEP2017 Vietnam-Japan Student Exchange Program (Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City and Vinh Phuc Province)

Aug. 2017: Mero Sathi Project Japan-Nepal Student Exchange Project (various places in Nepal)

Feb. 2017: Mero Sathi Project Japan-Nepal Student Exchange Program (various places in Nepal)

September 2016: VJYE Vietnam - Japan Student Exchange Program (Ho Chi Minh City, in collaboration with Tokyo Keizai University)

Aug. 2016: NJEP Nepal-Japan Student Exchange Program (various places in Nepal)

Aug. 2016: VJEP Vietnam-Japan Student Exchange Program (Ho Chi Minh City and Dalat, Vietnam)

Feb. 2016: Japan-China-Nepal Student Exchange Program (various locations in Nepal)

Nov. 2015: AAEE Mero Sathi Seminar in Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Oct 2015: International Exchange Seminar at National University in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Sep 2015: Asian Student Exchange Program 2015 (various locations in Nepal, in collaboration with Akinori Seki Seminar, Tokyo Keizai University)

Aug 2015: Nepal Earthquake Emergency Relief Student Exchange Program (various locations in Nepal)

Mar. 2015: Nepal Water Tank Installation and Student Exchange Program (various locations in Nepal, in collaboration with FIWC)

Oct 2014: Japan-Vietnam High School Science Exchange Program 2013 (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Oct 2014: Bangladesh School Cleaning Project 2014 (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Sep 2014: VJYE Vietnam-Japan Student Exchange Program (Ho Chi Minh City and Vinh Phuc Province, in collaboration with Akinori Seki Seminar, Tokyo Keizai University) 

Aug 2014: Bangladesh Student Seminar (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Mar 2014: Nepal Water Tank Installation & Student Exchange Program (Palpa, Nepal)

Sep 2013: VJYE Vietnam - Japan Student Exchange Program (Ho Chi Minh City and Lam Dong, in collaboration with Akinori Seki seminar, Tokyo Keizai University)

2013/03 Nepal Water Tank Installation & Student Exchange Program (Palpa, Nepal)

Feb. 2013 Nepal-Japan Student Exchange Project (Lamjung, Nepal)

Feb. 2012 Thailand-Nepal-Japan Student Exchange Project (Bangkok Thammasat University, Palpa, Nepal)

 Message from the President of AAEE

Akinori Seki (President, Asian Association of Educational and Exchange, Professor, Tokyo Keizai University)

 Professor Akinori Seki of the Tokyo Keizai University, President of the AAEE, is an educator and researcher specializing in cross-cultural communication, multicultural understanding, and motivation of foreign language learning.  He has been teaching regular university classes and overseas training programs for more than 20 years, and has taught a total of 35 international exchange programs in Canada, England, Australia, India, Nepal, Vietnam, and Thailand, and has lived in Thailand and Nepal. The following is the official website of the Tokyo Keizai University, where you can find an easy-to-understand introduction to some of the principles of Representative Director Seki's activities.
http://www.tku.ac.jp/interview_t/19.html

In addition, the following sentence from President Seki on the JICA Chikyu Hiroba official blog also expresses his strong desire for the AAEE.

The AAEE is the "emotional support in my life.

 Recently, I have been thinking a lot about how difficult it is to survive in life. Anxiety, conflicts, pressure... Even so, because I had "emotional support," I managed to make it this far despite my weaknesses. In my case, when I am lying still, exhausted, and unable to move, the experience of spending the summer of my freshman year of high school in Indonesia always comes to mind.

 Growing up in a small town deep in the snow in Niigata, I had no contact with foreign countries or cultures until I was in junior high school, and by the time I was 15, I had only seen a foreigner once. Until I was 15 years old, I had only seen a foreigner once, and I had hardly ever been to Tokyo, and I was too scared to go to Niigata City, a two-hour train ride away, by myself.

 Then, in the summer of my first year of high school, I was suddenly asked to go to Indonesia for a homestay. This was not something I volunteered to do. The previous year, at the behest of my teacher, I had given a speech about my experiences at a junior high school that had been rife with school violence, and I had unexpectedly won the Minister of Education's prize at a national competition.

 As a person who knows nothing about foreign countries, I had no idea what Indonesia was all about. When my friend and I looked into our social studies reference book, the only thing we could find was an ancient "stilt house" on the island of Java, built quietly in the jungle. Unlike today, we don't have access to the Internet to search for information. In a panic, I spent three months preparing equipment that would allow me to survive in the jungle for a month. My friend gave me a directional magnet as a parting gift and said, "Come back alive! I was sent off to a small station in my hometown. It sounds like a joke, but it's true. Incidentally, it was the day of the opening ceremony of the Los Angeles Olympics.

 When I arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia, I was taken aback. Jakarta was not a jungle but a big city. And even though it was night when I arrived, the number of people outside was unbelievable. It was incomparably more prosperous than the city I live in. Furthermore, there was no Japanese to be heard at all. During the bus ride from the airport, I was so shocked by the culture shock that I couldn't keep my mouth shut.

 I stayed in Jakarta and Yogyakarta, which is famous for the Borobudur Temple, a World Heritage Site, for a while, but now that I think about it, there were so many embarrassing things. For example, in Indonesia, there is a custom of bathing (like a shower) called Mandi. There is a water tank in the home and water is poured over the body with a hand tub. However, not knowing anything other than the Japanese way of bathing, I went into the tank bareheaded. The tank was so deep that I almost drowned, and my host father rescued me by shouting. Also, when I casually entered the host sister's room, I found her wearing a strange costume and moving in a strange way. (At that time, I had never even thought about religion, let alone Islam). I had a lot of things I wanted to say, but I could not express them in English, which annoyed the people around me and frustrated me many times.

 Nevertheless, this homestay program was like a dream come true for me. In particular, I will never forget the interaction with junior high and high school students of the same generation as long as I live. On the uninhabited island where we stayed during the field trip, we talked about our dreams under the starry sky in poor English. We sang, swam, and had a lot of fun. I was overjoyed to receive a love letter from a girl of the same age, but I could not understand the meaning of the letter, so I made a vow to her to learn English (we continued correspondence for two years, but it died out naturally, lol). It was an irreplaceable time with them that will never come back. As the end of the program approached, I found myself unable to stop crying with emotion and pain.

 After returning home, my behavior clearly changed. I told myself, "The world is big!" and began to work furiously on learning English, reading books, and other things that would help me connect with the world. I also desperately sought out opportunities to make foreign friends. When she was a university student, she tried to save money by working part-time and took out a loan from the University Co-op to travel to Asia and Africa. After realizing that nothing would happen if he waited, he organized his own exchange events with international students. After becoming a high school teacher, I took every opportunity to connect with foreign countries, and even applied for and was accepted into JICA's summer program for high school teachers in Zambia.

 If I had not gone to Indonesia at that time, my life would probably have gone in a completely different direction. At the very least, I would not have been able to research and practice multicultural exchange and foreign language education as a university faculty member or be involved in promoting student exchange by establishing the AAEE.

 I believe that when people encounter difficulties and get stuck, they are able to survive based on the emotions they have accumulated in the past. As an educator, I always want to give the young people I meet the inspiration that will support them through life. So what can I do? The answer lies in the AAEE, and this is the kind of social contribution and international cooperation I can make.

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