This year the Sport and Exercise Department will send Staffordshire University students on the ‘Sports Exchange Program’ to the highly esteemed Nippon Sport Science University in Japan.
Nippon Sport Science University (NSSU) boasts a number of Olympic gold medalists among its graduates and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Staffordshire University last year to develop a sport and cultural exchange program. Staffordshire University is the only Higher Education partner in the UK working with NSSU, which is officially accredited by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.
Eight NSSU students took part in a preliminary visit to the Stoke-on-Trent campus last summer and members of Staffordshire University’s Sport and Exercise department James Capper (Head of Department for Sport and Exercise) and Andrew Wood (Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology) spent a week at the university and got a taste of the country’s sporting culture, which included attending a Japanese baseball game.
“We saw first-hand the range and level of sporting, cultural and academic experiences that would be available to Staffordshire students whilst at NSSU in Tokyo. Andrew and I also met a range of academics at the university and explored possible research and teaching collaborations.” James explained.
After an intensive and expansive recruitment and application process across all years and disciplines within sport and exercise 23 students and two staff members will be travelling to Nippon University this summer – set in the heart of the bustling city of Tokyo.
“It’s an extremely exciting opportunity for our students to spend time at a prestigious sports university whilst gaining professional insights into pioneering athletic support. James and I both also agree this trip offers more than just professional development. The interest in the placement is a credit to our students whose willingness to break the shackles and immerse themselves in culture they will not be accustomed to will develop them as global citizens” Andrew described.
The visit by Staffordshire students to the Tokyo and Yokohama campuses will run for three-weeks May 2018 where they will be paired with ‘buddies’ from NSSU based on their mutual sport interests and courses. The students will have the opportunity to use NSSU’s sports facilities, engage with the related sport courses and develop their Japanese language skills.
James added: “This is a very exciting partnership. There is real potential to develop the existing MOU into some very specific activities with student exchanges at the heart of them and this will now be the plan for 2017-18 and beyond.”
To follow the activities of our students during this trip follow us on twitter @StaffSpEx