Chiang Mai University Faculty of Nursing Hosting Program
In the first semester each year, MPNU welcomes a group of students from the CMU Faculty of Nursing. This hosting program is unique in that the Thai guests stay with our students in their homes for the week they are in Miyazaki. During the day, both MPNU host and CMU guest students are busy with studies and activities, but after school they return to the host’s home together and spend time shopping, cooking, dining, and getting to know one another while experiencing university student life in Japan.
During the summer break, our MPNU students then travel to CMU for a short-term exchange program , in which many of our MPNU host students reunite with their CMU guests.
In their week in Miyazaki, the Thai students learn about social issues, education, and the Japanese healthcare system and nursing education at MPNU through introductory lectures and exchanges about cultural differences in the healthcare systems.
We prepare many on-campus classes and activities for the CMU students to learn about the nursing education at MPNU and in Japan, and to experience some of what our MPNU students learn throughout the course of their nursing study. These on-campus activities are in many different specializations, including maternity, pediatric, and elderly care.
CMU students also visit local healthcare institutions in Miyazaki. They observe the Doctor Heli air ambulance and Doctor Car mobile physician stations at the University of Miyazaki Hospital, as well as other regional hospitals and facilities such as rehabilitation centers and a center for children with developmental disabilities.
Our Thai guests also participate in a range of cultural activities, most of which are planned and presented by MPNU students. Our first-year students present traditional Japanese cuisine, games, and activities. CMU students share their native Thai culture with our second-year students, followed by group conversations about cultural differences. CMU students also visit the the tea ceremony club, where they dress in yukata and join in a traditional tea drinking ceremony.
There is a student exchange party on the last day. Students from MPNU and CMU enjoy performances by some of our university’s activity groups, including sign language, dance, taiko drums, and music, along with eating, chatting, music, and dancing.
Hosting Program – Student Experience
One of our recent MPNU host students shares her weeklong experience hosting a Chiang Mai University student from Thailand as part of the Chiang Mai Hosting Program.
I’ve always been interested in other cultures, and I heard about this Chiang Mai host volunteer program just when I was thinking about how I could participate in some kind of exchange. I’ve hosted a CMU student for the past two years. I was a little worried about what we could talk about when we were at my apartment after school because I live alone. I also doubted my ability to speak effectively in English because I had only learned English in school and had never met or interacted with someone from another country so directly. However, when I was a host for the first time with the help of some older students, even though I couldn’t speak English as well as I wanted, my guest did her best to understand me so that we could communicate.
Living with an exchange student allows you to learn about cultural and lifestyle differences, but it also lets you reconsider your own lifestyle habits. I got to know MPNU students from different academic years, so the best word to describe this week is enriching. This is relevant especially for those thinking about joining the Chiang Mai study abroad program because hosting a CMU student first lets you get to know the Thai student you will spend time with in Thailand even better.