Zeynep Doga Arican: HUB Kyoto

My experience of interning at HUB Kyoto was a unique one since I had the chance to work in a welcoming environment in which new ideas are valued and encouraged. The best part of my CIP was to be able to have conversations with the HUB people with various occupations at the HUB events or during regular weekly meetings. It was really interesting to experience the alternative side of Kyoto.

At the beginning of the term, I was working as a project assistant and researching about the HUB projects from all around the world and writing reports on them. The main idea was to find a project that would suit HUB Kyoto’s needs and aspirations. After writing reports and presenting them to the HUB people for three weeks, I realized I was not making any real contributions to HUB Kyoto, since my project reports were not stimulating any further action. That is the reason why I decided to change my role in HUB Kyoto, and instead of writing reports on other people’s projects, I decided to come up with a project proposal and work on it. When I proposed my project plan, they were surprised and happy to see me taking a step forward by myself.

My project was basically an event in which high school students sell food and drinks to raise some money that could either be used for other HUB projects or be donated. My main goal was to create an event that would encourage young people in social entrepreneurship and get them interested in making money through simple events. The idea was appreciated a lot by HUB Kyoto and Eri-san, one of the members, introduced me to another member who is working as a high school teacher. Having a conversation with a young high school teacher was very interesting since I had a chance to listen to Japanese high school students’ aspirations and life styles. Yamashita-san, the high school teacher, was also very encouraging about the project and he was willing to work with me one on one to make the event better. However, after having a meeting to schedule the time for the event, we realized that it would be really difficult to find a time that would both fit the high school’s and KCJS’s schedules. In addition, only one month was left and no preparation had been done, which would require me to do a lot of preparation by myself while also dealing with the schoolwork. Because of this reasons, we decided to cancel the project. HUB people were sorry that I would not be able to carry the project out after having been preparing for it for almost three weeks. However, I was told that my project proposals were suitable to HUB Kyoto and they would be implemented in the future. Even though it was a little disappointing not to be able to carry out my own project myself, I was really glad to hear I could make an actual contribution to HUB Kyoto.

All in all, thanks to HUB Kyoto, I was able to see the world of social entrepreneurship in Japan and have a conversation with people coming from very different backgrounds, with various occupations and interests in life. The fact that they were very willing to listen me talking about the economic and social world in my home country, made me feel a lot closer to them, not to mention a lot welcomed and included. I felt very lucky to be given the chance to listen to their point of views in certain global issues. It was very interesting to listen them talking about Japan’s stance on global problems and the social conflicts modern Japanese people go though. At HUB, I always felt like a part of the group and the family, which encouraged me to learn more about the Japanese culture. When I compared the conversations I had with my host mom and the HUB people, I can see how different generations perceive national and global issues in different ways. Even though 4 months was a very short period for this particular type of CIP, working at HUB was an important component of my study abroad experience and I am very glad I chose doing it.


3 thoughts on “Zeynep Doga Arican: HUB Kyoto

  1. Hello Yoga for Dogs,

    I am glad that you had a chance to experience the social entrepreneurship scene in Japan. It seems like you experienced some difficulties about scheduling your plans for HUB Kyoto. What type of steps did you take to overcome those?

    Also, it sounds great that you were given the chance to create your own project. Do you think your leadership abilities improved during this internship?


    • Thanks for the response, Roderic. Scheduling issues was the only problem I had during my participation at HUB Kyoto. To overcome those problems, at first I tried to adapt my schedule to theirs but then as our schoolwork increased, I had to stick with a specific time for every week. They had changing dates and times for their events and even though we were invited to all of them, it was very difficult to adjust ourselves according to the HUB schedule. However, I was very welcomed by the members when I went to the HUB even though there were no events going on that day. I would be able take the initiative of implementing projects and helping more at HUB if their schedules or my own schedule was more flexible, but that was not the case; so I tried to do my best under these circumstances. This internship most certainly helped me to improve my skills of reflecting something that I have in mind in Japanese!

  2. Too bad you did not get that done. But do not worry, it always happens to small business. Now there are some more interesting things put in Hub now, feel free to come and look.
    btw, I find lying on the bench near the bamboo yard is helpful release stress. But obviously I did not use that a lot in the beginning.. Too bad…