eetulin hiroshimaDr. Teruo Maeda and Dr. Lawrence M. Liao, professor and associate professor of the Graduate School of Biosphere Science, respectively, of Hiroshima University (HU) in Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan, together with six third year college students of HU—Yuki Takeuchi, Mizuki Ueda, Tomomi Aratani, Yutaro Morozumi, Kojiro Sebata, and Yuma Miyazaki—visited the Visayas State University Main Campus on September 2-6, 2014 for an Educational Tour. The group was hosted by the College of Agriculture and Food Science through the Department of Animal Science (DAS) headed by Dr. Dinah M. Espina.

The group was warmly welcomed by Dr. Edgardo E. Tulin, VP for Instruction, during the courtesy call at the VSU Office of the President. Dr. Tulin oriented the visitors on the different programs of the University. Moreover, the participants were toured around the campus by Mr. Jesus Freddy M. Baldos, Administrative Officer V of VSU Information Office, for them to learn more about the University and have a glimpse of the campus and its surroundings.

The host department through Dr. Lolito C. Bestil, faculty member of DAS, gave an overview of the department including its programs and the faculty members. After which, the group was divided into two, in which the students attended a lecture in Animal Science 133 subject and mingled with other college students who are taking up Bachelor of Animal Science, while Dr. Maeda and Dr. Liao had an interaction with the DAS faculty.

What transpired during the discussion was the need to maximize the full potential of the MOA between the two universities. The HU representatives extended an invitation to the faculty and staff of the Department and even to some VSU personnel to visit Japan, either to conduct research or make a joint research proposal which will be implemented in the Philippines and in Japan. It was also discussed that VSU can invite Japanese professors to serve as thesis committee members and even as guest lecturers.

Other activities lined up for the Japanese exchange students included the following: briefing on buffalo production project, horseback riding lessons, visit to copra processing plant and observed coconut wine gathering, visit to the Philippine Carabao Center and the Baybay Dairy Cooperative and observed milk processing, interactions with VSU Animal Science students, demonstration on restraining cattle/Rodeo skills, participate in small ruminant and poultry activities, field trip to Sabin sheep-cattle and pineapple farms, and visits to some research centers and academic departments.

The exchange students also had some sports activities like basketball, volleyball tennis together with the VSU counterparts.

The week-long visit to VSU was concluded with a dinner and socials at the Center for Continuing Education wherein all participants showcased their prowess in singing and dancing. Likewise, certificates of participation were distributed to the Japanese students with some impressions delivered by the representative of the students and the professors as well as the VSU counterparts.

The educational tour was made possible as part of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Academic and Educational Exchange between VSU and HU that was signed on December 9, 2011 at the Training Hall of PhilRootcrops. The Agreement aims to establish an academic and educational exchange that would promote mutual understanding between the two universities through educational and academic collaboration and exchange, and ultimately contribute to the advancement and progress of learning.