Hirota and Oka (2003) showed in great detail the process which led to the academic exchange between
Okayama University’s Faculty of Economics and the University of Edinburgh’s Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences, and was concerned mainly in the procedure of sending students to the University of Edinburgh. This paper will focus on the procedure and the actual situation concerning the receiving of students from the University of Edinburgh. As the agreement stipulated that up to two exchange students were admitted to each institution per year, Okayama University received 15 students from the University of Edinburgh over a ten−year period. Concerning the student’s ability in acquiring a second language, it could be read as follows ; the students with an upper
beginner or intermediate level of Japanese prior to joining the exchange programme, showed great improvement during their stay in Okayama and graduated from the University of Edinburgh, Japanese Studies course or Japanese Studies and Linguistics course with an honours degree. Thus, the programme could be said to have obtained a desirable result in regard not only to student numbers involved in the exchange programme but also to their academic performance. However as it was the first exchange programme that the Faculty of Economics had been engaged in, the teaching staffs involved were troubled by many unexpected problems in relation to the students from Edinburgh. For example, housing and the high cost of rent proved to be a serious problem.
As the Faculty of Economics is about to embark upon a new exchange programme with Kangwon National University, the Republic of Korea, we believe that it would be in both the interests of the students and members of staff if we looked back to the exchange programme we had with the University of Edinburgh and attempted to learn from the valuable experiences we had.