TOPINTERVIEW People Working in KobeOlga Strelchenko

Olga Strelchenko

Olga Strelchenko

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Kobe International University
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  1. Job
  2. Why
    I work in Kobe
  3. Life in Kobe
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  5. From
    the company

Job Description

I want to show my students the importance of international exchange.

The work of a faculty member consists mainly of three obligations: conducting research, being in charge of classes, and participating in university’s activities and management. I am in charge of international economics, development economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and seminars.
Online classes are becoming more common due to Covid-19. To communicate better with students both online and face-to-face, I am trying to give ‘participation points’ to encourage students to participate in discussions and be active during the class as much as possible.
Also, I am trying to conduct my seminar with 18 students in a friendly way to encourage students to participate in discussions. I am satisfied to see my students freely expressing their opinions and asking questions during the class.
Basically, I conduct classes in Japanese, but as our university is an international university, from time to time I also speak English, so that students can make use of knowledge they obtained in English classes. As a result, students little by little can be more confident speaking English.
As for my other duties, actually there are many, for example, being a member of the International Exchange Committee last year I judged speech contest. In Kobe International University both Japanese and international students can participate in the speech contest, that’s why it is a good place for an international exchange. When I was a student, I also had an experience of doing speech at such contests and even won first prize at the all-Japan speech contest among female students with the speech “Character Building through Japanese Martial Arts”, so I want to show students of our university the importance of sharing their opinions with other people through international exchange.


Why I work in Kobe

I will continue to do my best at both: the academic path and kendo.

When I was a middle school student I fell in love with Japanese culture and started kendo (currently 5 dan). In a one year after starting kendo, when I was 15 years old, I also decided to study the Japanese language. I was a second-year high school student, when I first time visit Japan. It was only one-month short-term Japanese language program, but I remember how happy I was because, finally, my dream to visit Japan came true and this experience became a strong motivation to continue studying the Japanese language and kendo. Since my childhood I was determined to become a professor in economics following examples of my mother and grandfather. So, after finishing high school, I entered Sothern Federal University in my hometown, Rostov-on-Don, to study economics, However, I also continued my studies of the Japanese language. So, in order to make use of my knowledge of Japanese culture and language, after graduating from university in Russia, in 2016 I entered Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics as a Japanese government funded foreign student (MEXT Research Student Program). In 2017 I entered Master program and in 2019 I continued studying as Doctoral course student.
I was still a PhD student when I heard that Kobe International University, Faculty of Economics was looking for a new faculty member for the position in my research field – International economics. There are not many positions in international economics in Japanese universities, so I thought it would be a valuable opportunity and applied to it. After documents screening, interview and mock class, I was finally hired.
I will graduate from Osaka University soon in March 2022. This academic year was a year full of challenges form me, because I have combined both: studying as a PhD student at Osaka University and working as a full-time faculty member at Kobe International University. But I am happy now that I can continue my researcher’s career as I always wanted and I will try my best at both: at my kendo way and my academic path.


Life in Kobe

Enjoy the contrasts in a compact city.

When I first time went sightseeing in Kobe in 2016, I fell in love with the atmosphere of a compact city where diverse cultures and abundant nature are concentrated. Kobe is a place where you can see the sea and mountains, and you can enjoy the contrast between nature and urban area. Actually, I live in Osaka and commute by car from Osaka to Rokko Island where Kobe International university is situated. The route is rather long but the infrastructure of Kobe City is convenient and the roads are wide, making the way from my home to work very pleasant. Another good thing about Kobe is that there are many excellent sport facilities. I belong to kendo club "Seishukan" that is in Kawanishi City, Hyogo Prefecture, that’s why I often attend sports facilities in Kobe City for kendo tournaments and events. I also care about animal welfare and I think Kobe is an animal-friendly city with many volunteer activities. I believe that Kobe takes care to ensure that people and animals have a better life together.



「Think globally, act locally」

If you are interested in working in the academic field and want a rewarding job, I sincerely recommend you to consider finding a position in Kobe.
There are many excellent research institutes and facilities, including Kobe University, Konan University, Kansai International University, Kobe International University and so on.
Furthermore, because Kobe is foreigners-friendly city, I think that foreigners can also grow here professionally in a wide range of research fields and contribute to the region making efforts with the intention of "Think globally, act locally". Let's do our best!


From the company

In addition to the internationalization of our students, we are also focusing on the internationalization of our faculty and staff.

Kobe International University recommends the Global Campus Concept as part of its mid-to-long-term plan. Kobe International University and its partner universities around the world are connected through a network, creating an environment where students can study at the partner university campus as if it were their own. Is it enough to internationalize only the students? This leads to the idea that faculty members also need to be internationalized.
We already have several foreign nationals on our administrative staff. We have many staff who can speak Vietnamese, Chinese, and many other languages, and internationalization is well underway.
By internationalizing the administrative staff, international students who are not good at Japanese can get rid of their worries in daily life by having administrative staff who can respond in their own native language, and they can study in Japan without stress. As a result, the percentage of students going on to graduate school has been high in Hyogo Prefecture. As for the faculty, we already had a Chinese national and a person whose family is overseas but teaches in Japan, but with the addition of Dr. Olga, we will be able to increase the number of nationalities further and continue to internationalize the faculty.
One-third of the Faculty of Economics, to which Dr. Olga belongs, is staffed by foreign nationals, making it attractive to have sufficient international exchange on our campus. I think it is a very colorful campus because many different languages are spoken on campus. The Career Center also has a person in charge of international students to strengthen their job-hunting activities. Kobe is a place that accepts different cultures.
There is a lot of community, and the infrastructure needed to work in Kobe is very good. There are very few places in Japan that have the infrastructure necessary to work in Kobe, and it's a good town that is easy to enter.

Deputy Secretary General, Mitsuru Toshikawa