‘The essence of our humanity’: Oxstu goes to International Mother Language Day

On Saturday of 6th week Oriel had the honour of playing host to International Mother Language Day, promoting cultural diversity and multilingual education. The history of this event goes back to 1947, shortly after the British partition of India which saw the Indian subcontinent arbitrarily cleaved in two based on religious identity. This posed a […]

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Mastering Applications: What, When and Why?

Hundreds of undergraduates will soon be finishing their degrees and waving goodbye to the stress of finals, with coursework, revision and essay deadlines becoming eclipsed by summer sunshine. But as the pressure of course deadlines evaporates, so too can the sense of security which the structure of a degree provides as the world beyond university […]

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Japanophilia, Japanophobia: Considering the Experience of Cultural Difference in Japan

  Noise, light, energy. The skyscrapers shimmer with neon and exuberant sky-high manga figures; the streets resound with the cheerful thunder of anime and J-rock; hype seeps from every concrete pore. You know when you’re in Akihabara, Tokyo’s ‘Electric City’, the heartland of all things stereotypically otaku – video games, anime/manga, computers. Wandering through the […]

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Voluntourism: Who Does it Benefit?

A 2008 study surveyed 300 organizations that market to would-be voluntourists and estimated that 1.6 million people volunteer on vacation, spending around $2 billion annually (Kushmenrmarch, ‘The Voluntourist’s Dilemma’ – 22/03/16). In the past recent years, the phenomenon of voluntourism has indeed become very fashionable in the West, especially among young people (many are gap-year […]

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‘Where Diversity Meets Learning’ – Reporting from HLAB 2016

Towards the end of Trinity term 2016, the two of us received a slightly strange email to the OxStu Editor gmail account, from a man who introduced himself as follows – ‘My name is Keisuke Saito, from the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan.’ Spam alert – so we thought. But as we read on, we […]

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A People Ebbs – The Demographic Trials and Tribulations of Japan

When I arrived in the far northern Japanese town of Teshio, I was initially struck by two things: one was the warmth of the people, and the other was the remoteness of the place that I had found myself in. Teshio has a population of under 4000 people and sits near the northern tip of […]

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Resilience in Japan: Reflections from Onagawa

  On the 11th March 2011 at 14:46 JST, an earthquake struck Japan off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, in Northern Honshu, triggering a massive tsunami and the now-famous meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The earthquake, known as Higashi Nihon Daishinsai (the Great East Japan Earthquake) was the most powerful to hit Japan […]

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Guernsey: an island gem just a stone’s throw away

Which destination played host to Victor Hugo during his exile from France, claims the donkey and the cow as its national animals, and is home to the world’s second oldest tennis club? The answer is Guernsey, a jurisdiction within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a Crown dependency. Together, the Bailiwick and Jersey form the Channel Islands. […]

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