Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Fostering a family atmosphere

We talk to Siobhan Park (Japanese and Linguistics MA Hons) about Japanese Studies Peer Support success in the Students' Association Impact Awards.

The Students' Association Impact Awards celebrate inspiring work at the University of Edinburgh in Student Representation, Global experiences, and Peer Learning and Support.

The awards are 'a chance to celebrate exceptional students who make a positive impact on the University and on their fellow students through running projects or events, or undertaking specific roles'.

This year, Japanese Studies Peer Support - all student volunteers in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) - won in the category of Best Peer Support Group.

In this interview, Siobhan Park (third year Japanese and Linguistics MA Hons student) talks to Web, Communications and Social Media Intern, Róisín MacFarlane, about the sense of community the group fosters. 

'An all-encompassing view'

The Students' Association award recognises 'a Peer Support Group that has delivered an exemplary social, pastoral or learning support this year' and Siobhan feels that the welcoming culture of the Japanese Studies Peer Support Group was instrumental in their win. 

"We won for our all-encompassing view in regards to getting every year involved and fostering a family atmosphere throughout our society."

"We're quite a small group - Japanese Studies in particular, Asian Studies in general - so second and fourth years run the committee. Being in second year, there was a big push for us and I ended up being the Treasurer this year."

'Our driving force'

A photo of the Japanese Studies Peer Support Impact Award winners
The award-winning student volunteers at the ceremony, with staff member Fumiko Narumi-Munro (second from right). Image © Students' Association.

Peer support schemes and projects enable students to provide academic and social support for each other during their studies. In partnership with the University of Edinburgh, the Students’ Association offers guidance and resources for staff and students involved in establishing and maintaining peer support initiatives.

One of several such groups in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, Japanese Studies Peer Support provides a space to exchange experiences and learn more about the year abroad through socials like movie nights. It also holds a weekly Kaiwa (conversation) Café for Japanese Studies students and exchange students.

Siobhan believes that the group's support from LLC and their staff contact, Fumiko Narumi-Munro, made all the difference in what they were able to achieve.

"LLC was a really big help in everything that we've done this year. Our staff contact, Fumiko from Japanese Studies, she's the main body, she's our driving force in everything we've done."

"LLC helped us in regards to finding us things to do, finding us places to do it, getting us the funding we needed for everything we've done, and really made us win this award."

The next Japanese Peer Support socials are a film screening of 'Akira' at 17.30 on Monday 3rd December 2018 in the Screening Room at 50 George Square, and Bounenkai (the end of the year) event at 17.00 on Friday 7th December in the Project Room, also at 50 George Square.

Are you interested in studying Japanese at LLC?

We offer a comprehensive and rigorous Japanese language programme, coupled with diverse Japanese studies options taught by international experts. We are proud to have achieved 100% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2018.

Find out more about studying undergraduate Japanese at LLC

Related links

Read more about this year's Impact Awards winners on the Students' Association website

Find out more about Peer Support at LLC