>【Making Friends in Fukuoka】Supporters
Introduction of Supporters
Several organizations in Fukuoka assist international students who are looking to make friends.
1. Fukuoka International Exchange Foundation
The Fukuoka International Exchange Foundation makes the most of Fukuoka’s geographical and historical advantages to promote citizen-led international exchange in collaboration with various exchange associations in Fukuoka Prefecture. At the same time, it provides support for foreigners living in Fukuoka. The support programs include scholarships for international students, Japanese language classes and free consultations on human rights and resident status procedures.
*The Fukuoka International Student Support Center’s Administrative Council Head Office is run by the staff of the International Student Department of the Fukuoka International Exchange Foundation.
The Foundation offers scholarship programs and consultations to international students to help them lead an enjoyable student life.
- Scholarship Programs for International Students
- The Foundation currently offers two programs, the Fukuoka International Exchange Foundation Scholarship for International Students and the Fukuoka Satooya Scholarship for International Students from Asian Nations. Each offers a monthly allowance of 20,000 yen.
- Japanese Classes for Foreigners
- Japanese classes for foreigners offered by the Foundation are taught by volunteer teachers. All foreigners can attend these classes.
- Consultation Sessions for Foreigners
- The Foundation holds consultations on human rights from 13:00 to 16:00 on the second Saturday of every month,
and consultations on resident status procedures and other issues from 13:00 to 16:00 on the fourth Saturday of every month. These are both free of charge. No appointments are necessary.
- Registration of Teachers for International Understanding Education
- The Foundation conducts an international understanding program that can help citizens to learn about and experience foreign cultures.
The program always accepts applications from foreigners who would like to introduce their home culture at schools or community centers in Fukuoka Prefecture. International students can also register with this program. Teaching fees and travel expenses are provided.
2. Fukuoka City International Foundation
Established to commemorate the success of the Asian-Pacific Exposition - Fukuoka ’89, the Fukuoka City International Foundation is engaged in activities that promote international exchange, taking advantage of the historical and cultural advantages of Fukuoka as a key Asian city. The Foundation aims to contribute to the realization of a multicultural society where every citizen will acknowledge diversity in others, to deepen mutual understanding, and to assist in regional development and world peace.
The Foundation offers a place of mutual understanding for international students and citizens.
- Home Visit Program for International Students
- This program aims to promote continued exchanges between international students and local citizens, with the participation of entire families. International students enrolled in schools in the Fukuoka Metropolitan Area, including those in universities, junior colleges and language schools, are eligible to participate. Applications are accepted in September and the program runs from November to March every year.
- Japanese Chatting Salon
- This salon offers a place where international students and Japanese volunteers can enjoy casual conversation.
It is held between 13:30 and 17:00 on the first and third Thursdays of each month, and is free of charge.
- My Hometown and Fukuoka, as Told by International Students
- In this program, one international student serves as a lecturer, and talks about his/her hometown and personal history.
It is held from 18:30 to 20:30 on the third Thursday every month. 500 yen admission, but free of charge for international students.
- Welcome Event for International Students
- This event is held every autumn for international students who have just arrived in Fukuoka, with the hope of helping them to learn about the attractive points of Fukuoka and Japan through recreational activities with local people. Free of charge.
- Foreign Language Classes Taught by International Students
- International students studying in Fukuoka act as instructors and teach, not only a language, but also culture and customs, while participants can enjoy friendly exchanges.
Classes are held from May to February. In 2013, applications for instructors were accepted between the beginning of November and early December.
3. Kitakyushu International Association
With “multicultural” as its keyword, the Association offers assistance to foreign nationals living in the Kitakyushu area, to help integrate them with the local Japanese community. By collaborating and partnering with Japanese citizens, foreign nationals, international exchange associations and citizen volunteers, the Association promotes international friendship activities led by citizens and aims to realize regional internationalization.
The Association supports foreign nationals in developing connections with the local community, through programs such as the introduction of host families.
- Exchange Student Home Visit Program
- International students will have a host family that acts as their “family in Kitakyushu,” and their exchanges will continue for about one year (six months for autumn participation).
This program is designed for new international students who have just entered universities in Kitakyushu City. Applications are accepted through the universities.
(Spring program: Application period in April, the program starts in June. Autumn program: Application period in October, the program starts in October.)
*Depending on how many international students apply for the program, there may not be enough host families available for all.
- Disaster Prevention Class for Foreign Nationals
- This class is held once a year. All foreign nationals living in Kitakyushu, including international students, can attend.
4. Kurume Bureau of Tourism and International Exchange
Utilizing Kurume's history, culture, industry and other unique characteristics, our bureau aims to contribute to the stimulation of the local economy and community by promoting tourism and conventions in the city, as well as driving international exchange and understanding amongst its citizens.In particular, our international exchange projects include promotion of exchange with friendship/sister cities and support for foreign residents.
We support international students in their daily lives, and promote exchange with local residents and other students.
- International Student Tourism Supporter Development Course
- Recruitment: Oct, Training: Nov-Dec, Certification Test: Dec, Certification Ceremony: Jan, begin work from Feb!
All international students in Kurume City are eligible to participate.
- Kurume International Day
- Held every year in October. Organized by the event's executive committe.
Volunteers assist with the venue, food stalls, song and dance performances on stage, etc.
- Kurume Azalea March
- Held every year in April. Organized by the event's executive committee. Registration required
- Festival of Water Kurume Festival Parade
- Held every year on August 4th. Organized by the event's executive committee. Registration required.
International Exchange Division
5. The Nishi-Nippon Foundation
The Nishi-Nippon Foundation was established to deepen international understanding and develop global human resources, and to contribute to international goodwill and world peace by promoting exchanges with Asian nations. It presents the Asia Contribution Award and the Asia Kids Award to recognize local exchange organizations, promotes friendship between local residents and international students, and provides grants to international exchange bodies.
The Foundation hosts networking events to deepen friendships between international students and local citizens.
- First International Exchange Club
- This event is held in May of each year to introduce aspects of Japanese culture such as origami and classical Japanese dance. The charge is 1,000 yen for international students and 3,000 yen for local residents.
- Tea Ceremony Class
- This is held every month or so. This class is aimed at international students who are interested in the tea ceremony. Free of charge.
- Kumamoto and Miyazaki Traditional Culture Trip
- This event occurs in September of each year. It is intended mainly for executive members of international student associations.
- Toyota Factory Tour, Recycling Plant Tour
- These tours are conducted around March of every other year, and are intended mainly for executive members of international student associations.
- Renewable Energy (Geothermal Generation, Solar Cell Generation) Observation Tour
- This tour is conducted around March of every other year, and is intended mainly for executive members of international student associations.
6. Dazaifu City International Exchange Association
The Association hosts international exchange events in Dazaifu City, and provides assistance to international students. After paying an annual membership fee of 500 yen and becoming a member, you can participate in all events (except the Japanese language classes) for free. The Association hosts exchange events, making the best use of the characteristics of Dazaifu. Your active participation is welcomed.
The Association holds exchange events unique to Dazaifu, and also hosts seasonal functions.
- Historic Site Excursion
- While taking a walk among the historical sites of Dazaifu City, international students can deepen friendships with local people. Free of charge for members, and 500 yen for non-member international students.
The tour destination varies each season, and may include cherry-blossom viewing in spring or autumn leaf viewing in autumn.
*For more details, please visit the Association’s website.
- Japanese Language Classes for Foreigners
- These are held at Dazaifu City Ikiiki Joho Center, located next to Nishitetsu Gojo Station, every Monday (no classes on national holidays). 500 yen per class.
- Friends’ Bell Club Member Gathering
- This exchange event for international students, foreign nationals and Japanese citizens is held annually in July. Free of charge for members, and 500 yen for non-member international students.
- Japanese Culture Class
- In this class, international students engage in Japanese cultural experiences, such as tea ceremonies and calligraphy. Free of charge for members, and 500 yen for non-member international students.
The class program varies each year.
7. Onojo International Exchange Association
With a motto of “Think Globally, Act Regionally,” the International Exchange Association was inaugurated as a citizen volunteer organization aimed at contributing to the internationalization of Onojo City, and at developing international awareness among citizens. Calling its programs “Kokusai-Juku,” the Association engages in international exchange activities in various areas, such as support for foreign nationals, culture classes to help people understand different cultures, and training to teach young people to be future leaders.
The Association offers a place to interact with the local community, such as with bus tours and parties.
- Bunka Koza (Culture Class) – Bus Tour
- This is held every autumn so foreigners and local residents alike can explore Japanese history together. Participation fee required (lunch included).
- Kotobano Koryu Hiroba (Japanese Classes for Foreign Residents)
- 34 classes per year are held at Onojo City Chuo Community Center. The annual course fee is 6,000 yen (not including textbooks).
- International Friendship Party
- This is held once a year. A participation fee required.
8. Foreign Students Support Network “FORSNET”
With its office located in the Kitakyushu Science and Research Park, FORSNET hosts exchange events based on food and culture, for international students and local residents who are interested in international friendship activities. It also provides life support programs for international students and their Japanese counterparts, including language classes, workshops on job searches, and the introduction of part-time jobs in system construction, which will enable cooperation and growth through friendly competition.
FORSNET hosts fun events involving food and culture to promote friendly exchange.
- Culture Classes
- Culture classes covering flower arrangement, tea ceremonies, seasonal dishes and the creation of hair accessories are held six times a year. The first 30 applicants are accepted, and anyone can apply.
600 yen for international students, and 1,000 yen for others.
- Men’s Tea Ceremony by International Students
- This once-a-year event is open to everyone. For international students, an advance ticket costs 600 yen for one tea, and 1,100 yen for two teas. Tickets purchased on the day of the event cost 700 yen for one tea and 1,300 yen for two teas.
*Participation fees may change depending on the contents of a tea ceremony.
9. Gakken Volunteer Association
There are currently about 500 international students studying at the Kitakyushu Science and Research Park. This Association was established in order to deepen international students’ understanding of Japan, and to support international students who face anxieties and difficulties in daily life because of differences in language, culture and customs.
The Association hosts various events, such as local functions and town walks in which international students can participate on a casual basis.
- Participation in Local Events and Visit to Elementary School
- These events are for international students and Japanese students. Free of charge.
- Wakamatsu Town Walk to Wakato Tosen Ferry, and Walk around Wakamatsu Honmachi
- This event is for international students and Japanese students. A 500 yen participation fee is charged.
- Visit to Company in Kitakyushu
- Intended for international students and Japanese students, a 500 yen participation fee is charged.The number of participants is limited.
- Wai Wai Japanese
- This event is held ten times a year for international students, Japanese students and local residents. 200 yen for students, and 500 yen for others.
- Wai Wai Christmas
- Held in December every year for international students, Japanese students and local residents. 500 yen for students, and 1,000 yen for others.
10. Iizuka Friendship Network
Established in 1994, the Network offers a place for friendly exchange between international students and citizens, as well as medical consultations, subsidies for activity expenses and Japanese language classes conducted by Ryugakusei Front (using members’ funds). Also, in collaboration with Futamatase Community Center, the Network runs a bike rental program. The Iizuka Friendship Network belongs to the Iizuka International Exchange Promotion Council and cooperates with them in conducting various activities, such as speech contests, cooking classes and home visits. The Network has been involved in the friendship city agreement between Iizuka City and Sunnyvale City (in Silicon Valley in California), playing a leading role in a youth education project.
The Network offers daily life support, including free bike rentals and Japanese language lessons.
- International Student Speech Contest
- This contest is held annually in November or December.
- Pleasant Evening for International Students and Citizens
- Held annually in June. Free of charge.
- Japanese Classes
- These are conducted at Futamatase Community Center every Saturday. Free of charge.
- Bike Rental Service
- Free of charge.
- Cooking Classes
- Offered five times each year. International students are compensated for preparing dishes from their home country.
- Iizuka Dontaku Shukuba Festival
- Held annually in October, the foods of various countries are served.
©FUKUOKA INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SUPPORT CENTER.