Ateneo hosts ASEAN in Today’s World 2013
The Ateneo de Manila University early this week greeted students from around the world during the opening ceremony of the ASEAN in Today’s World (ASTW) 2013, an annual program that seeks to broaden knowledge and gain deeper understanding about the ASEAN.
The ASTW is a 2-week international program focused on ASEAN studies and Asian languages & cultures. The ASTW is a program of the Kyushu University of Japan and the Ateneo de Manila University, in cooperation with Mahidol University of Thailand, Fukuoka Women’s University in Japan, and the ASEAN Secretariat.
Launched in March 2009, the ASTW was first co-organized by Kyushu University and Mahidol University. In 2011, the Ateneo de Manila University, together with the Fukuoka Women’s University, joined the ASTW Consortium. For two years now, the Ateneo de Manila has been hosting the annual gathering of the students.
“Students would broaden their knowledge and gain deeper understanding about ASEAN and the ASEAN + 3 cooperation through the various classes that they will go through,” Fr Jett Villarin, President of the Ateneo de Manila University, said in his opening remarks.
Villarin said that through programs like this, a deeper understanding of the cultural differences will not be a source of division, but of enrichment.
“We hope that by your being here, we can do something about this deeper understanding that we would want to forge and form in ourselves. We can misunderstand each other because of these cultural differences. The differences, that adversity can be a source of division, one, the differences, that adversity can also be a source of enrichment.”
Prof. Jordan Pollack, Deputy Director of International Student Center, said the ASTW seeks to create an intensive learning experience focused on traditions reviews and relations between ASEAN countries. “Participants from different cultural background will enjoy a unique opportunity to study together and be in an ASEAN university,” Pollack said.
He further said that ASTW should someday be leading contributors to the prosperity and peace in ASEAN and around Asia. “My hope is that young people from ASEAN and other countries will join together in a cooperation to bring back a peaceful and prosperous world. The future lies in these younger generations.”
Also during the opening ceremonies, 13 scholars from Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and japan were awarded Young ASEAN Scholarship.
Thanks to programs like the ASTW, students from different countries have a chance to understand, appreciate, and respect the things we have in common and the things that make us different from each other. Thank you to our partners, Kyushu University, Mahidol University, Fukuoka Women’s university, and the ASEAN Secretariat, I’m happy that in our second year now, the ASTW is being held here in the Ateneo. I hope we could continue to work better for greater understanding within the ASEAN and the greater Asian region,” Dr. John Paul Vergara, Vice President for the Loyola Schools of the Ateneo de Manila, said in closing.
More pictures here