An Interview with Chiara, a 2023 JACAC Participant

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Meet Chiara (she/her), a student at UW who is in her 3A term of Honours Arts, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Speech Communications. On behalf of Renison and UW, Chiara, shown here at the Canadian Embassy in Japan, traveled to Japan this year as she participated in JACAC, the Japan-Canada Academic Consortium. Read the full interview below as she describes what her experience was like and how Renison supported her along her journey!


How did you find out about JACAC?
“I found out about JACAC through a professor here at Renison, Kimie Hara who teaches East Asian studies. I took her class, International Relations of East Asia and she introduced me to JACAC. Although I participated virtually last year, I had the opportunity to participate again this year, but this time around, I got to go to Japan in person!”

What did you do to prepare yourself for the event?
“As this was an overseas opportunity, a lot of preparation was needed. For example, since I was expected to attend in-person lectures in Japan, I had to complete many readings before then. These readings were about environment, gender participation, and volunteering. I also had to write a pre-assignment paper where we had to give an example of Canadian identity that I could teach in 1-2 minutes along with other criteria such as answering what we hoped to accomplish as Canadian participants in the JACAC and why young Canadian people should have an interest in Canada-Japan relations. I also had to write a reflection about my experience at the end of the trip."

Who was in your group?
“I had to create a 15-minute presentation with a group. My group consisted of 1 other Canadian student who was from Queen's University and 2 Japanese students who attended Josai International University and Tsuda University. We worked together to create this presentation on a topic of our choice. It was exciting because we got to present it at the Canadian embassy in Japan which was a great experience. Overall, I loved seeing the different perspectives and ideas from each teammate.”

What was your project about?
"Our topic was about Canada and Japan addressing societal challenges. We decided to be more specific and focus on the environment. For example: How can Canada and Japan have a broader role on a global scale in terms of tackling Environmental issues?"

How did your final presentation go?
“This year, the final presentation was a little more challenging than last year because I was in a foreign country. Therefore, there was less time to prepare since I spent a lot of time sightseeing and being a tourist. However, the overall experience was super positive and I definitely enjoyed it!”

How did this experience benefit you?
“This experience benefited me in numerous ways. Getting the chance to go to Japan and work with other passionate students while experiencing Japanese culture was definitely an opportunity of a lifetime!”

How did Renison help you along the way? How were you supported by the language instructors?
“Renison played a big role when it came to making this all possible. Renison was ‘the bridge’ between me and Japan as they provided me with all the details and gave me the form itself. This was incredibly helpful and allowed me to be organized, and more aware of what was going on. I wouldn't have had the confidence or motivation to participate in JACAC without Professor Hara. She encouraged me to participate
in this amazing opportunity!”

Do you have any advice for future students considering this experience?
“My advice would be to enjoy it while you can! Since you are overseas, you have to go into it open-mindedly and welcome new experiences with open arms!” 

If you have any questions about JACAC, send Chiara an email at


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