Today is the big and final day of SSIP! A number of students arrived at the Global Lounge earlier than usual to meet with their group members to practice for their final presentation that starts in less than half an hour. At the final session of the Cross-Cultural Workshop, each group presented the advertisements that they found interesting and their analysis of the different themes and designs. Ommura-sensei and many of the CIE staff praised all of the groups for their hard work and even stated that all of the presentations this year were extremely well done!
After the presentations, we had our Closing Ceremony. The ceremony began with remarks with Chancellor Bando. We then presented each student with a Certificate of Completion, as well as a special recognition for Ommura-sensei and Yagishta-sensei (the Cross-Cultural Workshop facilitators) and the CIE interns. An SSIP participant, Laura Valherya Suarez Estebez, gave a heart-warmning speech about her experience this summer.
Next was the farewell party. Professor Naohiro Yashiro, the Dean and Faculty of Global Business gave his remarks and started the party off with a toast. Once we grabbed our food, we watched a recap video of our program, made by Rachel (one of the interns) that brought many of us to tears. Watching the video gave us a moment of reflection of the memorable experience that we had with Japan and with each other.
Once most of us had finished eating the delicious catered food, we passed the microphone around to give everyone a chance to speak a few words. It was an emotional moment filled with both tears and laughter as we talked about the fun that we had during the program and how much we had learned about each other and ourselves.
We said our first goodbyes to three international students who were leaving for their flights that afternoon. The tears began flowing again, and we agreed that rather than saying “Goodbye,” we will say “See you again” instead.
The last day was an emotional day for all of us. Although SSIP has ended, we know that we will continue our “Cross-Cultural Workshops” beyond SSIP. We will always cherish our moments together with our friends from all over the world, and one day, perhaps we will meet again when we visit each others’ home countries.