St. Catherine University was happy to welcome six international students from Taiwan to its Hojo Campus at the end of March after the pandemic restrictions were eased in Japan. Four of them are second-year students, and two are first-year students.
Unlike Taiwan, where the academic year begins in September, the academic year in Japan starts in April. This means that students who graduate from high school in June generally have to wait nine months to begin university in Japan, though before COVID-19, St. Catherine University allowed students to come from September to study Japanese. Unfortunately, four of the six Taiwanese students had to wait one year and nine months before they could study on campus.
For one year, these students took all of their first-year courses online. Some of these students commented that the most difficult thing was getting information easily or quickly. It was difficult to ask teachers questions directly though they did have office support that helped them. Other than some English and Japanese language classes, all of their online classes were in Japanese, so they had to work hard on their own to understand the lectures and the materials.
Not surprisingly, one of the reasons they are happy to be attending face-to-face classes now is that they can use the Japanese they have been learning, and they are starting to make friends with the Japanese students in their classes. The St. Catherine University is happy to welcome them and recognize the efforts they have made in order to attend the University.