Over the years, Associate Professor Paul Pigram has taken a number of groups of students to Tokyo for a similar short term program, but this year the program received additional funding through Federal Government's New Colombo Plan initiative to support Australian undergraduates study in Asia.
This funding enabled the Short Term Program to be two weeks in length, allowing for more opportunities for the participating students. Students visited research institutions such as the School of Science at Tokyo University and NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science) to meet with Japanese counterparts and undertake scientific activities. The group were extremely fortunate to be able to have a tour of a Japanese factory, something that most ordinary people never get an opportunity to do. They also participated in a range of cultural activities which enabled the students to increase their knowledge and understandings about Japan.
The students met with La Trobe University student and New Colombo Plan Scholar Richard Garrett, at NIMS. Richard joined a number of the activities throughout the two week period including a session at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo. Embassy staff hosted the group, presenting a session on Japanese-Australia relations with Professor Nick Bisley, Executive Director - La Trobe Asia. The Victorian Government Business Office also hosted a reception for the group.
The students were impressed by the "nano tech 2015" exhibition. The impressive booth and banner for La Trobe University provided a home base for students to explore the exhibition and meet potential employers as well as market La Trobe University to the world. One student was interviewed about La Trobe's purpose at the exhibition, his quote appearing in the JETRO report recently.