During the week of July 11th to 15th, the Department of International Economics was privileged to welcome Dr. Vladislav Gospodinov from Sofia University in Bulgaria. Over the week he gave 5 lectures to International Economics students and 1 lecture open to all staff and students at the University. Here is a short overview of his visit with us:




On Monday he joined with Bisset’s 3rd year seminar and gave a talk relating to Intercultural Communication “Welcome to Bulgaria”. Of course, being economics students, they were very interested to hear about the money system in Bulgaria. In the picture you can see the various coins next to the 1-yen coin for size comparison. The smallest coin ( 1 stoinka) is approximately 0.7 JPY and the largest coin ( 2 Lev) is approximately 140 JPY.

ゴスポディノフ教授は、月曜日にビセット教授の3年生ゼミに参加し、異文化コミュニケーション(タイトル:ようこそブルガリアへ)に関する講演を行いました。国際経済学科の多くの学生は、ブルガリアの貨幣制度に興味を持っていました。次の写真には、1円玉(右)の横にさまざまなコインが並んでいますが、ここで一番小さいコイン(1 Stoinka)は約0.7円、一番大きいコイン(2 Lev)は約140円です。




On Tuesday he spoke to a joint gathering of the 1st year Liberal Arts Seminar and the 2nd year Basic Seminar regarding his school, Sofia University. It is hoped that some of the attendees of this lecture will be inspired to do a foreign exchange term at Sofia University. In the past, several of our students have done so, but due to the Covid-19 situation, it has been too long suspended. Let’s hope students get a chance to go soon.





On Wednesday, Dr. Gospodinov gave an open lecture about Education in Bulgaria.

This was a special lecture for faculty (also open to students) and diverse attendees included student representation from all(!!) faculties in the University, and faculty members from the Department of International Economics, the Department of Pharmacy, the Department of Marine Biology, the University Education Centre, the International Center, the IR Center, and President Otsuka. Dr. Gospodinov seemed very impressed by the state-of-the-art facilities in the newly constructed “Future Creation Building”.



He was very generous with his time to answer student questions after the lecture:


Later on Wednesday Dr. Gospodinov joined the GCC (Global Communication Club), a collaboration between the Department of International Economics, the University Education Center, and the International Centre. Each week 10-15 Japanese and International students gather in the Global Lounge to exchange ideas, participate in activities, and promote cross cultural experiences. Dr. Gospodinov gave the students a talk on best practices of photography. Then the students were given 10 minutes to take a photo on campus, and he judged their results in an impromptu photo contest.

水曜日の午後、ゴスポディノフ教授は、国際経済学科、大学教育センター、国際センターのコラボレーションであるGCC(Global Communication Club)にも参加しました。GCCでは、毎週、10人から15人の日本人学生と留学生がグローバルラウンジに集まって、アイデアの交換、アクティビティーへの参加、異文化体験などを行っています。ゴスポディノフ教授は、学生たちに写真のベストプラクティスについて講演しました。その後、学生たちはキャンパスで10分間写真を撮り、その場で写真コンテストを行いました。


We were very impressed that he insisted on accompanying the group on its post-GCC walk to Matsunaga station (almost 4km on a hot summer day!)





On Thursday, he spoke to a mixed English class on the topic of “street photography”. The students were very impressed by the various rules and ethics involved in capturing public photographs and our ability to understand various things, such as economic conditions, from a single photograph.


ストリートフォトグラフィー(street photography)に関する講演



Finally, on Friday, to wrap things up, he produced an on-demand video regarding UNESCO World Heritage in Bulgaria. One of the points of discussion between Fukuyama University Faculty and Dr. Gospodinov during his visit, was how each of our institutions has had to adapt to the global Covid-19 situation and what we have learned from it. The International Economics Department held a Faculty Development discussion session on this topic during the 2nd term in 2021. One of the key things that we learned was that, though in-person lectures are much preferred, there are some advantages to on-demand lectures. Specifically, during lectures taught in a foreign language, students can consume the lecture at their own pace, repeating as many times as they wish. As such, Dr. Gospodinov was keen to produce such a lecture, and we thank him for taking the time to record it.




On Dr. Gospodivov’s last day, he visited President Otsuka’s office to say goodbye. President Otsuka gave him some souvenirs to take home to Bulgaria and showed him the umbrella that he received when he visited Sofia in 2017. Then Dr. Gospodinov generously donated a copy of his book to the University library.



Finally, in an amazing coincidence, there is a picture in our Global Lounge of Fukuyama University that we printed out from the Sofia University website. We display this picture to pay tribute to the special relationship between our two universities. As it turns out, Dr. Gospodinov is actually the person who took this picture in 2008! So he signed his name and promised to send an updated picture that will show how the garden that can be seen in the picture has grown.







A word from the President: What a rich and varied stay Dr. Gospodinov had at our University, despite his short period of time here!  In addition to his many lectures, he engaged in truly intimate activities with students and faculty. His interaction with us will remain as a beautiful and wonderful memory in the hearts of many who met him. We hope for further development of exchange between Sofia University and Fukuyama University. This blog is an attempt written in both Japanese and English, and will be read by many more people, including our friends in Bulgaria.