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World Balloon Championship - Saga

World Balloon Championship - Saga

Saga hosts Asia’s largest hot air balloon race and festival. Almost 60 km’s from Fukuoka City, would you dare to journey to and from saga, a route spotted with hills, by bike!? Well, that’s what two 2nd years from IUPE did on 28th November 2016.

This international balloon festival in held between end of october and beginning of november alongside the Kasegawa river in saga city. This place is ideal because there are no high-rise buildings or skyscrapers nearby giving unobstructed freedom to the balloons and gives visitors a stunning view of the vast sky. This also makes for excellent sunrise and sunsets for the avid photographer!

The festival first started in 1980 and until now, 2 world championships have been held, including one this year. Its popularity has been blowing up over the years as more and more people from around the world visit every year.

As you enter saga, you can see dots flying in the sky, slowly taking the form of colourful balloons as you reach the site, and the vastness of the event will hit you unexpectedly as you realize that there is much more to the event than hot-air balloons. Although the event boasts more than 100 hot-air balloons, the event has several different performances by many people, has great food stalls and fantastic fireworks to light up the night sky.

Nevertheless, main attraction are the hot-air balloons. While many of them are involved in the balloon race, the other half are grounded for visitors to look and enjoy. At night, they are illuminated and take part in synchronised lighting shows. This is named La Montgolfier Nocturne or night mooring, where they light up the whole riverside with balloon lights and the view can be seen from far away on clear conditions.

In short, this is what the world famous saga hot-air balloon festival is about. While most of us were worrying about studies and reports, Luan D. and Phong H. utilised their weekend for this amazing trip. You can also access the festival by train of course and that’s what some other students did, and come back on the same day.



There is an alluring and curious beauty that autumn offers as the leaves change into brave colours of red, orange, or yellow, before it surrenders to nature’s coldness and fall away. As nature takes our breath away, what better way to spend time than having an outing with friends? This year’s Autumn Bus Trip’s destinations are Shiraito Waterfall, Raizan Sennyoji Temple, and Ikazuchi Shrine. With good company and beautiful surrounding, there’s not much left to do other than capturing the moment. Thus, to celebrate the arrival of autumn, ISU organised Photo Contest 2015 during our annual autumn bus trip.


We asked the help of our IUPE family to help vote for the best picture submitted to us. Students, Professors, Supporters, and even Alumni participated! There were 11 pictures in the contest. In the end, the winners are:


1st place: Jeevan Joshy

2nd place: Win Banthrarungroj


Check out these amazing captures!


We thank you to everyone who have helped and participated in this event! Hoping to see more amazing shots in our next photo contest! Stay awesome!


Sonali on why she chose Kyushu University

Sonali Batra, a 4th-year undergraduate student at Kyushu University was interviewed by The Times of India, a popular daily newspaper in India. She recently took part as a panelist in the Indo-Japan Education Summit 2015 in New Delhi and Hyderabad to share her experience about being an international student in Japan. The following articles are as it appeared on The Education Times on Feb 23rd. 

Sonali on why she chose Kyushu University

I was interested in space exploration. So, after completing my class XII from Kendriya Vidyalaya IIT Madras, I decided to look abroad for options in aerospace engineering. I considered different countries and I found the programme at Japan’s Kyushu University the most appealing. One of the seven former imperial universities, Kyushu University was set up more than a hundred years ago. It provides students with a rigorous academic regimen, accompanied by scholarships for international students. All students on the international undergraduate programmes are eligible for a 50% fee waiver. Although the cost of living in Japan is high, one can manage with a scholarship.
The course structure is flexible. Besides core subjects like engineering management, fundamentals of electrical engineering, aerospace engineering, and mechanical engineering, I read disciplines such as law, philosophy, and psychology as well in the first year. This gave me a wider perspective -- I could understand in general terms what was happening in the world. In the second and the third year, I took specialized courses and worked in labs. I learnt about the mechanics of machinery, thermodynamics, etc.
Now in my final year of the course, I am working on my project at a lab and earn a stipend through a research project funded by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). For my thesis on orbital space debris for the future sustainability of the space environment, a faculty member, and a Ph.D. student are mentoring me.
Beyond the classroom and lab, the university gives students opportunities in terms of co-curricular activities as well. I am the president of a student organization and I also volunteer for different non-academic programmes.
Academics aside, the Japanese are shy and friendly people. If you know the Japanese language, they easily warm up to you. The university conducts Japanese language classes in the first year and students can continue learning it throughout their undergraduate studies.
After completing my programme, I want to go for postgraduate studies but I have yet to decide in which country.

-As told to Aaditi Isaac


Moon & Star Watching in Kashi Higashi

The universe never ceases to amaze us. Grab this oppurtunity to be further marvel at is beauty. 

See a total lunar eclipse and stars through a telescope. Storytelling about the stars shown on the screen will also be performed. No application needed. Free of charge.
In case of rain or cloudy weather, the event may be cancelled.

Date/Time: Apr. 4 (Sat.) 19:30-21:00
Venue: Fukuoka City Kashi-higashi Elementary School (1-9-1 Kashi-dai, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka)
Further information: (only in Japanese)

Inquiries: Children's Science and Culture Center
Tel: 092-771-8861




Why not try something differnt this holidays? 

This festival consists of a four day workshop and milongas. Enjoy the beauty of tango during the cherry blossom season! 

Dates: Mar. 26 (Thu.) - 30 (Mon.)
Venue: Tiempo Hall (Daimyo 11511 Bldg. 3F, 1-15-11 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka), Nishitetsu Hall (Solaria Stage 6F 2-11-3 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka)
Further information:

Inquiries: NPO Tiempo Iberoamericano
Tel: 092-762-4100 Email:


Ceramics & Porcelain Fair

This is an annual event exhibiting unique handworks by potters and artists from around Japan. Quilt Week in Fukuoka 2015 and National Food Fair will be held simultaneously.

Dates/Time: Mar. 18 (Wed.) - 22 (Sun.) 10:00-18:00
Venue: Marinemesse Fukuoka (7-1 Okihama-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka)
Fee: advanced 500 yen, at door 600 yen, Free for high school student and under
Further information: (only in Japanese)

Inquiries: administration office for Ceramics & Porcelain Fair in Fukuoka 2015 
Tel: 092-711-7605


International Job Fair for Foreign Students in Tokyo and Osaka

This is a job fair for foreign students studying in Japan who will be graduating universities or postgraduate schools by March 2016. Prior registration necessary.

Dates/Time/Venue: Mar. 14 (Sat.), 15 (Sun.) 11:00-17:00 Akihabara UDX (4-14-1 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
Mar. 28 (Sat.) 11:00-17:00 MyDome Osaka (2-5 Honmachi-bashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka)
Further information:

Inquiries: Global Leader office
Tel: 03-5428-4688 Email:


Presentation Zen

Ever had to sit through or more likely sleep through a presentation during class? Ever felt strung out thinking about the presentation that you had to make the following day? 

I’m pretty sure almost everyone of us has been through situations like this and the first step towards nailing a great presentation is by knowing and making an effort to get it right. Kyushu University recently organized a special lecture by Mr.Garr Reynolds named Presentation Zen, on how to improve presentation skills. 


Mr. Reynolds opens his talk and has the crowd, both students and faculty members alike, in a fit of laughter in under a minute. And what better way to get your audience’s attention than this? You instantly get the feel that you are listening to a person who knows what he is talking about. The session was interactive and everything you expected it would be. To know more on how to improve your presentations, please check the links below.

After the hour long lecture, there was a students interactive session organized where 8 students of our university got to present on topics of their choice and showcase their prowess as presenters. The topics ranged from Racism to Japanese washlets at the end of which students and also Mr. Reynolds discussed about each presentation. The student presenters got to know about their strengths and places that they can work on to improve from their peers. All-in-all it was a great lecture wherein we got to learn and improve so much. 

Interested in such events? Watch this space for more information! 


High school students visit Kyudai

Recently, high school students from the Fukuoka International School had visited Kyushu University to experience the environment and work culture. This visiting group of students and teachers were briefed about Kyudai’s admission process, student life and about our IUPE, by our 4th-year students Martin (Norway) and Ryan (USA). Later an interactive lunch session organized in IUPE common room, where the high school students got to meet and talk with Kyudai students, both international and Japanese.

This session was highly successful because a lot of them are considering applying to Kyushu University after graduating from high school. IUPE offers these students a unique opportunity to study in English in Japan, without the hassle of mastering the language first. Though it is open to only international students at the moment, the IUPE family is growing big and bigger every year and we hope to see Japanese students also join our classrooms soon. Then, we would be another step closer to globalization.

We wish the high school students from FIS good luck and hope to see them again!   

-Iswarya (Civil Engineering B2)     


Itoshima International Tourism Ambassadors from Kyushu University

We are proud to inform that Itoshima city has now appointed 19 international students from Kyushu University as Itoshima International Tourism Ambassadors to promote Itoshima tourism by joining local events and attending a series of workshops. Two students, May (standing, third from the right) and Minh (sitting, first from the right) are highly motivated students hailing from our IUPE program who are part of this event. Wishing them success on their new endeavour!

The city of Itoshima that is just adjacent to Kyushu University’s Ito campus is blessed with bounties of nature and scenic places to visit. Itoshima has always been welcoming foreign students with open arms and the people highly understanding.
If you are staying in the Ito dorm, a nice way to spend a lazy afternoon is by biking around Itoshima and enjoy the magnificence Itoshima has to offer. Some of the popular attractions are

Shima Sunset Road


Raizan Sennyoji Daihioin

Sakurai Futamigaura

Shiraito Waterfalls

Another popular event around Itoshima beaches during the winter is visiting Oyster Huts and help yourself to seafood feast. Since it is so close and breathtakingly beautiful, never miss a chance to visit Itoshima.

Picture courtesy: Tripadvisor