In this paper, the authors examine the reasons why outsiders such as the staff of public and private sector organizations as well as individuals made contact with the International Students Advisory Office（ ISAO） at
Okayama University during the period from November 1999 to March 201₇. At ISAO 80% of the visitors are the students, staff and faculty of Okayama University, and the rest, 20%, are non-university people. Because of its name, people assume that ISAO visitors are only university-related people. However, advising and supporting international students cannot be done only on-campus, but also requires support and help from people outside of the university. The purpose of this paper is to focus on this 20% of ISAO visitors and to analyze the reasons for and frequencies of their inquiries.
A total number of ₆,808 queries were made from outside the campus during the 1₇ year and ₅ month period under study. ₇8% of these were from Japanese and 22% were from foreigners. ₇₆% were residents of Okayama Prefecture. As for their affiliation, ₃9% were individuals; 20%, the staff of educational institutions; 18%, NPO’s and other private groups; 1₇%, government officials; ₆%, company workers and managers. As for the reasons for contacting the office, the majority, ₅1%, were related to exchange/support; while 2₇%, daily life-related matters; 8%, information exchange with other students advisors; ₆%, study-related matters; and ₅%, university admission related.
In the discussion, the authors examine the inquiries by other universities, foreign governments and mass media, and analyze their meaning and characteristics. The authors also point out the typical problems pertaining to“ cultural exchanges” with schools. Finally, they look at issues related to the alumni and alumna who return as continuous users of ISAO.