"One of the strategic directions of Urdaneta City University is outward looking, in order for us to have a progressive and developed university. And part of that is to provide extension and linkages in the form of understanding and agreements with the different educational institutions, both here, nationally, in the Philippines, as well in other countries,” Dr. Amihan April C. Mella-Alcazar, the Acting University President, said in her opening remarks during the first day of Konan University’s visit to UCU.
Two professors and thirteen students from Konan University of Kobe, Japan, one of the leading private institutions specializing in business and management, came for a study visit to Urdaneta City University on February 24-27, 2023. With the aim for research collaboration and student exchange, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two academic institutions on the onset of the four-day visit.
As part of the study visit, the Konan students experienced cultural and community immersions in the different parts of Pangasinan through courtesy visits, ground tours, and partner industry meet-ups in the City of Urdaneta, Dagupan City, and the municipality of Lingayen.
Julio “Rammy” F. Parayno III, the City Mayor of Urdaneta enthusiastically accommodated the delegation from Konan, in support of UCU's endeavor. The Konan visitors toured around the city hall, and learned the different functions of each office within the premises, which are integral in governing Urdaneta City.
Hayato Kawaguchi, one of the students of Konan, who branded himself as, “ang poging Hapon,” when asked about the Filipino culture, expressed, “I learned some Tagalog words like ‘salamat po’ and ‘magandang umaga.’ I also learned a lot of Filipino culture like dancing and singing. You're so fun. And I also loved Filipino dishes such as ‘sisig,’ sisig is the best! I hope you guys will also come to Japan, and enjoy the Japanese culture.” Another visiting student, Akiya Tanaka, remarked how generous and kind Filipinos are.
One of the highlights of the study visit was the exchange of business presentations between UCU’s students from the College of Business Management and Accountancy and the students from Konan University. The CBMA students presented their starting product, banana rice coffee, and offered a taste for the Konan visitors, and gained positive feedback. On the other hand, the students of Konan university gave a glimpse of the culture of Japan by sharing their national traditions, among others, in what they call a student cube presentation.
“It is similar to cocoa or hot chocolate but in a different way. I think the banana in the ingredients is exceptional, and it’s really really good,” remarked Dr. Brent Jones, one of the visiting professors.
Aside from the business presentations, both students from UCU and Konan showcased their talents by dancing and singing some of their respective cultural songs and dances. There was also a motivational lecture entitled, “The Experience Economy,” tackled by Prof. Brent, and said that, “Work is theater, and every business is a stage.”
With a hopeful intention of going back, the visiting delegates of Konan University have been grateful for the opportunity, as much as Urdaneta City University.
"I just want you to know that we're so happy to be here… thank you, Dr. Alcazar for being the connection, so that we can have new friends here at Urdaneta City University. We look forward to future collaborations with the different departments… we look forward to that research connection, and also student exchange. And hopefully… we will go back, and we will remember this day as our starting point. Thank you very much, and we look forward to be working with you,” Dr. Brent Jones said.