PTJC New Gen Japan-Canada Dialogue 8: Vidal Tavares – University of Alberta

Vidal Tavares, a Ritsumeikan Summer Japanese Program (RSJP) participant in 2019 and one of the 2020 winners of Alberta District Japanese Language Speech Contest, talks about his memories of his studies abroad and his love for Japanese language and culture

23 December 2021

Prince Takamado Japan Centre for Teaching and Research, University of Alberta, is currently working on promoting and celebrating the accomplishments of our academic programs, such as Ritsumeikan Summer Japanese Program and Alberta District Japanese Language Speech Contest, which helped dozens of Canadian students to improve their Japanese language skills and to deepen their knowledge of Japanese culture.

Vidal Tavares, a Ritsumeikan Summer Japanese Program participant in 2019 and one of the 2020 winners of Alberta District Japanese Language Speech Contest, speaks of his experience with the programs offered by the PTJC.

“I wanted to do these programs that PTJC offered because it was a way for me to gain a greater appreciation of the Japanese language and Japan as a whole. […] I really enjoyed those experiences because I gained insight into aspects of Japanese life and explored parts of Kyoto I would not otherwise known about. I really value that level of cultural exchange during my time there and being able to have meaningful and interesting with the Japanese students in Japanese made me feel empowered. […]

Studying abroad and experiencing the language you are learning firsthand is invaluable. I found that my Japanese improved a lot when I was in Japan. […] I made friendships that I hope last the lifetime, I got to experience daily life in Japan, and I was able to prove my abilities in Japanese to myself by winning the speech contest. And I hope others who are considering taking these programs find them as rewarding and fulfilling as I did.”

Ritsumeikan Summer Japanese Program is a summer study abroad program in Japan, coordinated by the Prince Takamado Japan Centre and the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Alberta, Canada. It is designed for post-secondary or graduate students with minimal knowledge of the Japanese language, providing a comprehensive introduction to Japanese language and culture. It runs from May to June every year for 5 weeks at Ritsumeikan University, Kinugasa Campus, located in northwestern Kyoto, and consists of two components: Japanese language classes and Japanese cultural studies that are based on field trips and lectures by specialists. 

Alberta District Japanese Language Speech Contest is held annually in March. Its goal is to encourage the study of Japanese, recognize academic excellence and promote good will and mutual understanding between Canada and Japan.