留学生インタビュー

Why did you decide to study in Japan?

There were two reasons for choosing Japan. First, when I was attending the Yangon Institute of Technology in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, one of my friends was studying at Shinshu University, a Japanese national university located in Nagano Prefecture. It was from him that I heard how wonderful the Japanese education system and Japanese technology were, and it made me wish to study Japan's cutting-edge technology. The other reason was that I thought that Japan and Myanmar were very close in terms of culture.

What kind of preparations
did you make before you came to Japan?

If you are going to study in Japan, the Japanese language is, of course, very important. I attended a Japanese-language school in Yangon for about six months. I also made an effort to review the basic subjects that I had studied in school up to then. I also went to the library in the Japanese-language school every day and looked for books about Japan so that I could prepare to learn about Japan. Recently, the Japanese Embassy in Myanmar seems to have information about scholarships and universities, so visiting the embassy to get information would be another thing you could do. You may not know how to go about choosing a Japanese-language institute in Japan, but in my case, my friend at Shinshu University gave me a suggestion about this.

How was your study at the Japanese-language institute?

I like the Japanese language, and I enjoyed learning the beautiful Japanese that one teacher taught us. Japanese grammar and the grammar of the Myanmar language are very similar, so there were not too many problems in studying it. However, Kanji (Chinese characters) is not used in Myanmar, and even though I had studied a little bit of Kanji while at the school in Yangon, it was still not easy to become familiar with it. It was especially difficult to learn how to write those different Kanji characters. However, I followed the instruction of my teachers, and studied Kanji very hard in order to enroll in a university of my choice. I also studied the basic curriculum very hard. I think that I was very blessed in my studies at the Japanese-language institute because I was able to create very good relationships with students from many different countries as well as with the Japanese instructors.

Was your impression of japan different
from what you had originally expected?

I had studied Japanese culture and customs (in Myanmar), which was brought about partly by the fact that Myanmar had once been under Japanese rule. However, when I arrived in Japan, I found that my impression was different from what I had felt through my studies up to then. The Japan that I had learned of in Myanmar was the old Japan, and not the present day Japan. I was able to understand Japan even better by coming to Japan to study.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?

If you want to study in Japan, language is of course important, but I think it is important that you have confidence in yourself. If you have self-confidence, you will be able to make challenges upon anything. I think you should also learn Japanese customs, little by little, before you go to Japan. And, if you are coming to Japan from a country where Kanji is not used, I hope that you will study Kanji well. My monthly living expenses, excluding tuition, are about ¥80,000 (about ¥30,000 for rent). There are many different scholarship programs in Japan that you can look into, but I think you should also prepare a certain amount of money just in case.

Uploaded on 9th November 2001