United Nations University Events

Just across the street from Aoyama Gakuin University is another university that serves as a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organization, the United Nations University. This unique university is meant to serve as a bridge between the international academic community and the United Nations system.


The UN University frequently hosts public lectures and symposia for the general public on topics of general interest.  On September 28th, from 18:30 – 19:30, the UN University will host a talk entitled “India at 75”, a Conversation with Prof. Marie Lall.” To attend, you’ll need to register at https://unu.edu/events/upcoming/india-at-75-a-conversation-with-prof-marie-lall.html. There will be a reception afterwards where you can speak to participants casually and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and non-alcoholic beverages.

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Short-term paid internship available

EnglishCentral, a Global IT company for English language education, is offering a short-term paid internship program in the Summer of 2022. The web services provided by EnglishCentral are being used in the English Department’s Integrated English Program and in classes at other departments at AGU. 

EnglishCentral holds internship programs every year in spring and summer, and this summer it is scheduled from Monday, August 29th to Friday, September 9th. By joining the internship program for 10 days, not only can students take part in helping out with the company’s tasks, but they can also get to know the atmosphere and the corporate culture of a venture company.

The duties include taking part in the company’s tasks such as checking the contents of videos used for educational purposes, getting involved in projects where you can plan, produce and present your own videos and, possibly, manage the operation of the company’s social media. By working online or offline with other interns from all over Japan, students can increase their independent thinking and teamwork skills.

In addition, by using the same communication tools (Skype, Zoom, Google Meets) and services (Google Docs, Google Sheets) as our employees, the interns can develop their basic PC skills which will be useful in the future. We also believe that our internship program—which has students thinking and allocating time for their tasks by themselves— gives them room to improve their multi-tasking skills as well.

Here is the URL where students can find the application guidelines: https://solutions.englishcentral.com/ja/recruitment/internship-short/  

Note that…

  • English proficiency isn’t required for application, but it will be necessary for certain tasks.
  • Students who have never used the services of EnglishCentral can feel free to participate.
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Teacher Education Event on Accessibility and Lifelong Language Learning (online)

Four speakers, 2 from JALT’s Lifelong Language Learning Special Interest Group and 2 from JALT’s Accessibility in Language Learning Special Interest Group, will speak about how to accommodate neurodiverse students through technology and other means, issues related to retirement planning, and continuing lifelong learning into one’s “retirement” years. 

EVENT: Joint Mini Conference of JALT’s Accessibility in Language Learning &
                Lifelong Language Learning Special Interest Groups
WHEN: February 26, 2022 (Saturday),  (10:00~13:20)
WHERE: Online (through Zoom); access the RSVP form HERE.
Anyone interested in lifelong language learning or neurodiversity.


[Times listed according to Japan Standard Time (JST)]

10:00 – 10:05 — Intro and Welcome [Zoom Room open from 9:50]

10:10 – 10:50 — Educators’ Retirement Planning: Pensions and Other Income (Gregory Strong)

10:55 – 11:25 —  Lifelong Learning and Retiring Retirement Stereotypes (Steve McCarty)

11:30 – 12:00 — Meeting the educational needs of neurodiverse and neurotypical students through technology (Alexandra Burke)

12:05 – 12:35 — Meeting Halfway: Supporting learners who have difficulty attending English conversation classes (Michael Y. Yap)

12:40 – 13:20 — Extended Q&A and Free Discussion

There will be plenty of opportunities for interaction with the guest speakers and other participants.

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A Talk Event on Modern Slavery

An organization working to stop human trafficking and modern slavery, Not For Sale Japan, will be holding an online event (in English) in the evening of January 19, 2022 (Wed.) on the theme “Modern Slavery: Measuring a Hidden Problem.” Full details about the event can be found at: http://notforsalejapan.org/en/news/202112/896.

Their guest speakers, Ms. Brittany Quy and Ms. Elly Williams, work for Walk Free (Australia). They estimate that there are 40.3 million people living in modern slavery worldwide. The presenters will discuss how the scale of modern slavery can be measured and what modern slavery looks like in Japan and Australia. In addition, they will explore how COVID-19 has impacted the situation.

EVENT: Modern Slavery: Measuring a Hidden Problem
SPEAKERS: Brittany Quy & Elly Williams
WHEN: January 19, 2022 (Wed.) 19:00-20:30
WHERE: Online (Zoom)
LANGUAGE: Mainly English (Japanese can also be used in Q&A)
TARGET AUDIENCE: IE students and any other interested parties
RESERVATION: Use the link below to fill in the reservation form. They will send the Zoom link to your email address 2 hours prior to the event:

   《Guest Speakers’ Bios

Ms. Brittany Quy is a Research and Policy Officer at Walk Free, an international human rights organisation based in Perth, Western Australia. Brittany focuses on researching modern slavery in the Asia Pacific region, and contributes to Walk Free’s flagship publication, the Global Slavery Index, which assesses country-level prevalence, vulnerability, and government responses to modern slavery. Brittany holds a Master of International Relations and a Master of International Law, and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia.

Ms. Elly Williams is a Research Analyst at Walk Free, an international human rights organisation working to accelerate the end of all forms of modern slavery. Elly contributes to Walk Free’s quantitative and qualitative research with input into the Global Estimates of Modern Slavery and Global Slavery Index. Elly is passionate about providing an evidence base for modern slavery across the globe, and leads Walk Free’s research engagement in the Africa region. Elly holds a Master of Public Health and a Bachelor of Biomedical Science from the University of Western Australia.

Walk Free is an international human rights group dedicated to accelerating the end of modern slavery in all its forms. Through a combination of direct implementation, grassroots community engagement, and working in partnership with faiths, businesses, academics, NGOs, communities, and governments around the world, they work to address modern slavery and dismantle its core drivers.

   《Useful Resources

Global Slavery Index 2018 Japan Report:

Sponsored by Not For Sale Japan, which works on issues of human trafficking and modern slavery, NFSJ Cafe is a casual learning experience where interested participants and NFSJ staff talk about a theme or watch a film over a cup of tea.

Contact: [email protected]

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Lecture & Concert by Bluesman Steve Gardner


Born in Mississippi in 1956, Steve Gardner is an accomplished blues musician and photographer, having studied photojournalism at the University of Southern Mississippi and blues from the “School of Hard Knocks.” After working as a photojournalist in the States, he came to Japan, where he has freelanced for Japanese magazines as well as for Time and Newsweek. The interest in the blues that he found in Japan led him to create a picture book on Mississippi and the blues, Rambling Mind (1994). His first CD, “Rambling With The Blues” (2002) is this book’s musical counterpart. He recorded another CD in New Orleans, Louisiana, “Walkin’ the dog” (2008), and his newest release is an album named “Miz Sally’s Yellow Cat Song Book” (2015), which is about–and dedicated to–his mom, Miz Sally. His latest project is Miz Sally’s Yellow Cat Song Book and Dementia Drawings.

Through his music and stories, Steve Gardner will take us on a journey from the world at large to Mississippi and show us where the blues came from — both geographically and spiritually.

EVENT: Open Lecture/ Concert
WHEN: December 10, 2021 (Friday), 3rd Period (13:20~14:50)
WHERE: Aoyama Campus of AGU, Building 11  (Room 1173) & over Zoom
TARGET AUDIENCE: IE students and any other interested parties who love music

HANDOUT: Roots Workshop Worksheet PDF

Friday IE Core and IE Seminar teachers and their classes–as well as any other teachers and students who can make it–should feel free to participate in this special event.

Here is an article about Steve Gardner that was written by a professor in our department, Wayne Pounds, for the Metropolis magazine. It shows some of Mr. Gardner’s excellent photography and puts his music into historical context.

Click on the graphic (below) to access some fine blues songs about southern cooking, especially the art of barbecue.


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Job Hunting / Career preparation events  (Online via Zoom)

On November 9th and December 1st there will be some online talks given by career support staff from MyNavi that are intended to help 2nd year students prepare for job hunting. The content of the lecture will be the same on both days. Interested students should register via the Student Portal and the Zoom meeting link will be sent to them. See information about it below:

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Talk and performance by Gohei Nishikawa

This will be a talk and performance by a distinguished world-class pianist who has performed in such venues as New York’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as–more recently–at the closing ceremony of the Paralympics in Tokyo. Originally from Osaka, Gohei Nishikawa did not begin studying piano until he was fifteen years old, but his speedy progress led to his graduation from the Osaka College of Music and a bold move to the US to pursue a career as a professional pianist.

Not long after moving to the U.S., Gohei Nishikawa began to suffer from a neurological disorder called dystonia, which affects bodily control and movement. At one point, this medical condition made it impossible for him to play the piano. However, through years of painstaking rehabilitation, he gradually regained his ability to play with his right hand, and with two fingers on his left hand. His comeback began in 2008 when he played at an International Music Festival in Italy. In 2009, Mr. Nishikawa achieved a prize at an international piano competition for pianists with disabilities in Vancouver, Canada. In 2012, he had an opportunity to give a speech and performance at Gracie Mansion, the New York City Mayor’s residence.

Five years ago, Gohei Nishikawa returned to Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium as a 7-fingered pianist. Since then, he has been performing, in person and on television, all over the world. In 2015, Gohei’s autobiography was published and NHK made a documentary about his life in 2016. Panasonic chose him for a worldwide TV commercial in 2017. This year you may have seen Gohei Nishikawa performing at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Read more about Gohei by referring to this newspaper article about his life and work.

EVENT: Talk and piano concert
TITLE: Connecting people through narrative and music in the best of times and in the worst of times: From Carnegie Hall to the Paralympics
WHEN: November 25, 2021 (Thursday), 3rd Period (13:20~14:50)
WHERE: Aoyama Campus, Room 1134 & over Zoom
LANGUAGE: English (without simultaneous interpretation)
TARGET AUDIENCE: IE students and any other interested parties

NOTE: For the link to the Zoom session, apply (using your official AGU email address) by writing to ApplyAoyamaGakuin [AT] gmail.com . Of course, substitute @ for the [AT]. IE Core and IE Seminar students will be offered the link by their teacher.

Looking to the future…

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Being a Citizen of the World: A talk by André Makino

There are many ways to help others, some small and others monumental. We often hear of the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the media, but what is it actually like to work or volunteer for one? How does one prepare for such work? What sorts of intercultural competencies and knowledge of the world are required? When helping others under difficult circumstances, how can one maintain their balance and sustain passion for what they do? The guest speaker, André Makino, will help us answer some of these questions.

As a young man who has an impressive record of accomplishment working with non-profit organizations for the past decade, André Makino will speak about what he has learned through his volunteer experiences, work as an intern, and his role as a field officer for a variety of NGOs that took him from offering the elderly mental support in Tohoku after the Great East Japan Earthquake, to picking up refugees arriving by sea from Turkey, and preparing materials for lessons at schools in the Za’atari refugee camp in Amman, Jordan.

BIO: André Makino is currently the Project Manager of the Japan Iraq Medical Network (JIM-NET) in Erbil, Iraq, where he manages projects to assist cancer-stricken children economically and psychologically, along with programs that assist refugees–especially pregnant women–living in Iraq and Syria. His duties also involve the supervision of Iraqi local staff and three in-hospital school teachers.

EVENT: Open Lecture
WHEN: October 26, 2021 (Tuesday), 3rd Period (13:20~14:50)
WHERE: Aoyama Campus, Honda Auditorium 本多記念館 (17-610) & over Zoom
LANGUAGE: English (without simultaneous interpretation)
TARGET AUDIENCE: IE students and any other interested parties

NOTE: For the link to the Zoom session, apply (using your official AGU email address) by writing to ApplyAoyamaGakuin [AT] gmail.com . Of course, substitute @ for the [AT]. IE Core and IE Seminar students will be offered the link by their teacher.

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Learning about business & companies

A program is being offered that is co-sponsored by Aoyama Gakuin University, Sophia University and Ritsumeikan University.

Many leading companies have collaborated on this program that is meant to teach students about the companies and their business activities.

Students who participate must attend both programs: Program I and Program II. The deadline for registering is July 16th at 1:00 PM. Capacity is limited, so, register as early as possible!

【Program Ⅰ】1-day Orientation
Students choose one day from the following dates:

August 3rd, 2021 10:00-12:00
August 6th, 2021 16:00-18:00
August 12th, 2021 13:00-15:00

【Program Ⅱ】2-day Program

Students are allowed to choose only one of the four options and they must attend the program both days(from 10 AM to 6:30 PM)

Course 1: August 19th and 20th 
The Asahi Shimbun Company and another company (students will be informed as soon as it is decided).

Course 2: August 24th and 25th 
ABeam Consulting Ltd. and Shiseido Company, Limited

Course 3: August 27th and 30th 
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited and LOTTE CO., LTD.

Course 4: September 6th and 7th 
KOKUBU GROUP CORP. and Nippon Life Insurance Company

The deadline for registering is July 16th at 1:00 PM.

Please check the Student Portal to register, under the heading “Sign Up and Confirmation for Special Lectures.”

The maximum allowed for each course is 30 students.
Students can register on a “first come, first served” basis.

[Credits: Many thanks to Deborah Bollinger for passing on this information.]

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Career Café on July 7th  (Online via Zoom)

On July 7th students will have the opportunity to interview Aogaku 4th-year students who received offers to work at various companies, such as the following:

  • ABeam Consulting Ltd.                             
  • VMware Japan                                           
  • KEYENCE                                                    
  • The Nisshin Seifun Group
  • NITORI Co., Ltd.
  • PwC Consulting LLC(Only ①first round)

Students can ask questions about job hunting and preparation for companies’ employment selection, etc.

There will be 3 rounds of interviews, and participation in 1, 2 or 3 rounds is possible.

①    15:00~15:40

②    15:50~16:30

③    16:40~17:20

WHERE TO REGISTER: Via the Student Portal, (under the heading “Sign Up and Confirmation for Special Lectures“)

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