The 6th Sogang University-Sophia University annual exchange SOFEX was held
- Sogang University and Sophia University, the two distinguished private universities in Korea and Japan, held the 6th SOFEX (Sogang-Sophia Festival of Exchange) -
Sogang University (President Yoo Ki-pung) and Sophia University (President Takashi Hayashita), the two distinguished private universities, held the 6th annual exchange SOFEX (also known as Sogang-Sophia Festival of Exchange). Both universities share its Society of Jesus establishment tradition and ever since the 1st SOFEX, which was held at Sogang University in year 2010, the two universities take turn each year to provide the venue for the event in Korea and Japan.
This 6th Sogang-Sophia Festival of Exchange(SOFEX) was held from November 13 to 15 at Sofia University Yotsuya campus, known as one of the big three distinguished private schools in Japan along with Waseda University and Keio University. Major sport games including soccer, basketball, taekwondo·karate along with newly introduced table tennis matches were carried out and cultural events such as cheerleading performance, music performance, samulnori, talchum and so on were carried out. And also exchanges from various areas were held including academic events such as English discussion, faculty workshop and so on.
On Friday, November 13, after the road performance by Sogang University samulnori team, about 150 students, faculties and staffs from Sophia University welcomed the visiting team from Sogang University at the opening ceremony, which was held in Sophia University auditorium. The flag bearers from both universities entered with their university flags and SOFEX flag and continued on with greeting words by Sophia University chancellor Toshiaki Koso. Chancellor Koso said, “As a way to show our appreciation towards the warm welcome from last year at Sogang University, Sophia University prepared a lot as well. I hope that this beautiful relationship between the two universities will be continued.”
Continued on with the words of student Kim Soo-bin, the president of Sogang University student club association, “Regardless of language and cultural differences, I am happy that we can all communicate with each other as youth being our similarity. Let’s enjoy the festival with our hearts that the friends who are next to us can be special friends.” And received round of applause from the students. Also another big round of applause continued on towards the video clip produced by SOFEX promotion supporters that showed vivid images of Sogang University students who have been preparing for SOFEX for a long time.
After the opening ceremony, taekwondo and karate performances continued and lead exclamation of joy from the audiences with the performers’ skillful moves, which were thrilling to watch. The cheerleading team from both universities received big round of applause for their long preparation of SOFEX cheerleading performances. The way of cheering from the two universities were different but the willingness to exchange with each universities’ representative teams of Sogang-Sophia were as passionate as ever.
The next day on Saturday, November 14, the representative sports event of SOFEX including soccer, basketball, tug-of war, table tennis games were held. For the last 6 months Sogang University representative team practiced with intense beads of sweat for this game with Sophia University and played the games by carrying the cheers of the students shouting ‘Youth Sogang’ on their back.
Basketball representative team repeatedly reversed and re-reversed throughout the game and played a close competition. The final score was 65 to 64. We lost by one point but it was the best game that stretched the audiences’ excitement till the end. Along with the basketball game, tug-of-war continued at the gymnasium. The presidents from both universities and participants of SOFEX were included, as the result, Sophia University won and regained their reputation from their lose last year.
Due to the rain, soccer representative team moved to Hadano campus and from the bloody battle in the rain resulted the score of 3 to 2 and won a victory. The result was inferiority in the first half and in the second half scored three goals in a row and showed a great reversal. Forgetting the sad memories of the lost game from 1st through 4th SOFEX, along with the first victory from last year’s SOFEX, this year won as the visiting team.
For the first time this year, the newly introduced table tennis game grabbed the participants’ attention. From the first single game surrounded by passionate cheers of the audiences, Sogang University table tennis representative team received 1 set and continued the winning streak by going on to 4 set then to deuce. However lost from the game and ended with a tight finish. Regardless of not having a victory from double and single games, showed great passion with mixture of cheers and sighs throughout the game.
On the other hand, academic event was held including English debate, faculty workshop and so on. The English debate was carried out as the English parliamentary debate style with the topic of “Can the women’s liberty be compatible with existing religion?” and after the heated discussion, Sogang University team won the victory. Also faculties from Sogang University Graduate School of Theology, Global Korean Studies and Sophia University carried out workshop as well.
After all the schedule, students relaxed from the tense competition and enjoyed the cultural events. Traditional performances including samulnori and talchum from Korea, masque performance and Soukyoku from Japan were held. Also performances by student club bands and dances continued so students were able to freely enjoy the music and spent time to get along with each other. Sogang University student club Gwangya, KINJECS, SHOCK showed great performances and received loud cheers from Sophia University students.
From the closing ceremony, Sogang University president Yoo Ki-pung said, “I hope that through SOFEX, students from both universities can experience heart jumping events to not just study with their brains but have the opportunity to release their passion. I was impressed to see the students playing sports games and having passionate exchange with pure amateur mindsets.”
Student Kanako Moromoto who major in history from Sophia University said, “With the opportunity to visit Sogang University as exchange student last semester, I was able to apply for SOFEX volunteer” and added, “I am happy to meet friends from Sogang again in Japan and it is nice that the students from the two universities with a lot of similarities can discuss with each other beyond the country and share experiences.”
Student Sim Tae-jun who is the leader of Tripathy Sogang University cheerleading team said, “Regardless of difficult situations due to rain, I am proud of our soccer team that showed good result, basketball team that showed the power of Sogang University although we lost the game and all the other students who actively participated throughout this period of exchange.”
On the other hand, some sponsorships were contributed towards the 6th SOFEX, a leading international exchange festival. Woori Bank sponsored supporting fund, Mario Outlet sponsored group jacket, Jaicro sponsored sportswear and supported the successful opening and prosperous creativity of university culture.