Chuo appeals to high-school students with international dormitory

Interview with staff of International Center



Chuo University runs two International Residences for its students. One of them, located at Tamadaira, Hino in western Tokyo, is called “Tamadaira-no-Mori 244”. The 62-room dormitory is a conversion from a housing-complex apartment house rented from a private real-estate company. This sharing-type facility is arranged in a unit of three rooms accommodating one person each and each unit has a communal living space so that international exchange students and Japanese students can routinely communicate with each other. It has greeted its sixth anniversary this year. Hakumon Herald interviewed Shinya Aoyagi, manager of Chuo’s Public Relations Office who had been charged with the management of the dormitory till March 2016, and Tomoko Fujita, who works for the International Center that manages the dormitory, to ask about its purpose and future prospect.


Tomoko Fujita (left) and Shinya Aoyagi speak during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Tomoko Fujita (left) and Shinya Aoyagi speak during an interview with Hakumon Herald.

-What is the primary aim of Chuo’s International Residence system?

Aoyagi: We have two aims. One is to secure housing for international exchange students who learn at Chuo. The other is to accept Chuo’s Japanese students who want to study abroad in the future. Our decision to have a sharing-type dormitory is related to Chuo’s designation by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as a university eligible for its “Go Global Japan” (GGJ) program. Taking that opportunity, we decided to accept more international students to promote Chuo’s globalization. This required us to prepare a better housing environment for its students. And in so doing, we thought we shouldn’t simply supply housing but offer a facility where students from various countries and territories can live together and experience better cross-cultural contacts with Chuo’s Japanese students. We thought such facility can also be one of Chuo’s charms appealing to Japanese high-school students who want to join us.


青柳 目的は2つあります。1つは海外から来る留学生の住居の確保。もう1つは中大の日本人学生で留学を考えている人の受け入れです。これらの目的を果たすシェア方式の寮が生まれた背景には、当時の状況が関係しています。さらに、本学が文部科学省の事業である「Go Global Japan」(GGJ)の採択校になったことも追い風となり、キャンパスの国際化を図るため留学生の受け入れ数が増加していきました。これに伴い欠かせなかったのが住環境の整備です。その際、単なる住宅ではなく、さまざまな国・地域の人が集まり、中央大の学生も一緒に住める環境を提供することで、日本の学生が日本にいながら異文化交流を体験できると同時に、受験生にも中央大学の魅力の1つとしてアピールできると考えました。    

They showed us many newspaper clippings about dormitory.
They showed us many newspaper clippings about dormitory.

-We hear that the Tamadaira dormitory might be closed down.

Aoyagi: This dormitory, converted from an old apartment house, has been managed under a lease contract between Chuo and a private business proprietor. The contract came up for renewal in 2015 and we discussed if we should continue it. We eventually decided to retain it for two reasons. Both international exchange and Japanese students told us they had realized the importance of cross-cultural interchanges which are made easier by the dormitory. Moreover, it had won high reputation from the media as a pioneer student dormitory in Japan.


青柳 元々この寮は、団地を改良した民間事業主と賃貸借契約を結んで運営されています。その契約が昨年更新の時期を迎え、本学として継続するかどうか検討しました。しかし、国籍を問わず寮生の間から異文化理解の重要性に気付いたという声や、国際寮の先駆的な例としてメディアから評価されたことなどもあり、契約更新を決定しました。

-Do you have plans to set up a new dormitory?

Fujita: Yes, we are giving positive consideration to the matter. Chuo has about 800 international exchange students at present. At the same time, more of our Japanese students want to study abroad. So, we cannot say we have a sufficient number of rooms with our two international residences. We have a lot of options to take. For instance, the present owner may offer to construct a new building after demolishing the Tamadaira dormitory. Or Chuo may choose to build a new larger dormitory on the Tama campus or nearby and manage it on its own.


藤田 前向きに検討中です。現在、約800人の留学生が本学に在籍し、海外へ留学する日本人学生も増えています。2つある国際寮を合計しても交換留学生の部屋数が不足しています。新規建設や改修等、さまざまな選択肢の中から検討を重ねています。


-Thank you very much.

(Interviewed by: Hiroki Sajo)