Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
Volunteer Action Space (VOLAS)

Address3-11-1 Asahi-cho, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo, Japan
RepresentativeTaku Shinohara, Head of VOLAS and Professor, Institute of Global Studies
Field of ActivitySupporting the activities of student volunteers
Locations of ServiceTUFS kenkyū kōgitō #206
Websitehttp://www.tufs.ac.jp/blog/ts/g/cemmer_volas/ (Only in Japanese)

Profile of Organization

Campus cleanup by the student volunteer group
©VOLAS Campus cleanup by the student volunteer group

We support those students who want to step out of the college world and immerse themselves in activities at the regional (within Japan) or overseas level. The name of the room dedicated to this volunteer action space is VOLAS. Every day, many students visit this space and hold meetings between each other or participate in study meetings. They also consult with professional volunteer coordinators.

Positioning the spirit of "Wanting to try something new" as the starting point, it is a place where students and the greater society can make the first connection.

It was created in April 2012. However, it considers the Multicultural Community Learning Support Center as its predecessor that was founded in 2004. VOLAS has developmentally succeeded its activities, and the present VOLAS supports the various student-led volunteer activities.

■For inquiries, please send an email to  volas@tufs.ac.jp (Volunteer Action Space)

Major activities

As a result of the differences between the hosting group and people involved, the volunteer activities conducted by VOLAS are comprised of 3 parts.

1) Collaborative projects with Fuchu City: "Academic support for children who are liked with foreign countries," and "Academic support for junior high school students."
Fuchu City hosts two classes of academic support with a focus on students who are linked with foreign countries ranging from 1st graders to 9th graders (3rd grade of junior high school). Furthermore, it conducts an academic support class for junior high school students who come from an economically disadvantaged background. Our University students are proactively involved in both classes..  

2)Volunteer activities arising from requests of external organizations
Our University students are involved in various activities that arise from regional requests such as assistance in regional events or volunteering in regional agriculture or revitalization programs. In recent years, there has been a rise in the involvement of "language supporters" activities that take advantage of the strength in our students' linguistic capabilities.  

3)On-campus student volunteer groups
We also support various student volunteer groups that have been started up and managed by the students themselves.  

■We also provide opportunities to think and learn about volunteer activities through the hostings of "VOLAS study meeting" as a way to create an impetus for students to get involved in these activities. Similarly, we hold "workshops" that are geared for students who are already involved in volunteering activities.  

■Towards the Tokyo 2020 Games
Capitalizing on our strength of being able to provide 27 language majors, we are nurturing students with omotenashi (hospitality) spirits. Our goal is to develop students who are able to respond in a refined fashion that goes beyond the role of conventional tour guide by talking to the tourists in their mother tongue. 
In preparation for the various international events such as the Olympics and Paralympics, we are taking part in seminars in collaboration with 7 foreign language universities from around the country to develop interpreting volunteers. Furthermore, at our Center for Multilingual Multicultural Education and Research, we have in place "language and culture supporters" system that are organized through our University's alumni. The intention behind this arrangement is to contribute to interpretation services when staff are necessary for international events or when foreigners receive consultations.  

Academic support for children who are linked with foreign countries
©VOLAS Academic support for children who are linked with foreign countries
Language supporter for the "3rd WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016 in Iwaki"
©VOLAS Language supporter for the "3rd WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016 in Iwaki"

Past Activities

Working with the locals as the "Youth of the Green Cooperation Volunteers."
©VOLAS Working with the locals as the "Youth of the Green Cooperation Volunteers."

■Academic support for children from diverse backgrounds
Activities at the academic support classroom which have been realized through the collaborative efforts between the Fuchu Board of Education and Fuchu City Office is the most popular volunteer work at our University. All classroom operations at the Fuchu International Salon are completely undertaken by the students. Under the student coordinator, students learn from each other and move forward with their activities as they independently take part in on-campus workshops or internships. Every September, citizen volunteers and student volunteers collaborate to help facilitate the evacuation drill for children who belong to the classroom.  

■Activities as a "language supporter"
Our University students are playing a role as a "language supporter" at sporting events, international conferences, or at exchange programs. We are aspiring to provide support in properly translating the "emotional aspect" of the speaker, rather than just switching words.
For TOKYO MARATHON Foreign Language Volunteers, our University students were the main recruiting source for this event when this volunteering scheme was introduced in 2015. As a result, many students took part in the activity. Furthermore, our students have been playing a major role in international sporting events or international conferences such as the "3rd WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016 in Iwaki."   

■Student volunteer groups
Volunteer organizations have been active in the following areas: international exchange, education for international understanding, support for Japanese language learning, regional support, and support for people with disability or the elderly.  

■Please go to our website for any other report on our activities.
VOLAS Activity Report (Only in Japanese)


Music exchange at the facility for the challenged
©VOLAS Music exchange at the facility for the challenged
Seminar for academic support
©VOLAS Seminar for academic support