Adelaide Law School has partnered with Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, in a new international program where ten Japanese law students spend one semester at the University of Adelaide. The English Language and Legal Studies Program is run jointly by the University of Adelaide Law School, the English Language Centre and the Department of Global Legal Studies at Meiji Gakuin University. Each year, ten undergraduate students from Japan will study general and specialised legal English at the English Language Centre in preparation for intensive studies at Adelaide Law School. Over the course of three weeks the Law School will introduce them to the Australian legal system, including indigenous law and culture, common law more broadly, international law and European Union law. Meiji Gakuin students will also participate in field trips to South Australian legal institutions, such as the Parliament and the courts.
The first cohort of Japanese students arrived in Adelaide in late September. After four weeks of cultural immersion through home stays and intensive language courses, the students visited Adelaide Law School for the first time. At a morning tea, they were introduced to their new Australian ‘buddies’, a group of Adelaide law students who have volunteered to connect with the visitors and make them feel welcome in Adelaide.
Cornelia Koch, Education Specialist and the coordinator of the new program, was impressed with the generosity of the Adelaide law students:
‘I am amazed that so many law students have volunteered to reach out to our Japanese visitors at a very busy time of the semester. This shows how interested our students are in cultural exchange and making foreign students feel welcome at Adelaide.’
Asked what she thought about the new program with Meiji Gakuin, Cornelia said:
‘This program is very exciting and has much potential for intercultural exchange and learning. My colleagues and I are thrilled to be able to introduce our overseas visitors to the Australian legal system, Adelaide Law School, Australian university culture and Adelaide more broadly, but also to learn from them about Japanese law and culture. Our Adelaide student volunteers will benefit greatly from their interactions with their Japanese buddies, while at the same time enriching the Meiji Gakuin students’ time in Adelaide.’
Law teaching at Adelaide Law School commences in late January with a comparative and global focus. Teachers will be Dr Stacey Henderson of Australian background, Cornelia Koch, who adds a German perspective, and Dr Jessica Viven-Wilksch, who contributes a French point of view.