Accepted Paper:

Designing a "coupling" internship program for age-friendly communities: in search of new standards for global leaders  


Kuniko Fujiwara (Koshien University)

Paper short abstract:

This study examines the qualities and depositions necessary to navigate this globalizing world, and to channel these characteristics into the global age-friendly world, based on the case study of three internship programs of Osaka University organized in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand in 2013.

Paper long abstract:

Internship has long been regarded as a training platform that provides young students with opportunities to work for a limited time and achieve a certain level of self-awareness before going out into the "real world." Although most internships have been held domestically, overseas programs are still rare to be held. However, with the accelerated pace of globalization, universities in Japan have started turning new eyes toward overseas internship, developing them not only as means of offering probationary working experience but also as educational programs to nurture global future leaders who could cope with this changing world, in which people live with others from various origins.

Meanwhile, with Japan's declining birthrate and rapidly aging society, Japanese companies are encouraged to employ older adults as temporary workers and/or extend the mandatory retirement age. This trend is often translated into a competition for employment between the young and older adults.

This study examines the overseas internship program of Osaka University that was newly introduced in 2013 in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. The paper discusses how our "coupling" internship program, in which our students are partnered with local students, with students majoring in different areas, and are mentored by older adults, would work as an educational program in terms of creating global leaders, age-friendly working settings, as well as age-respected relationships between and across various generations.

Panel P027
Considering ideas and practices to create "age-friendly communities" (NME/Commission on Aging and the Aged panel)