留学生インタビュー

Why did you decide to study in Japan?

When I was a student at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, I participated in the college's study abroad program because I wanted to see a different culture, especially that of Asia. There were many countries that I could choose from, such as Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong, but I decided on Japan, and I studied at Osaka University for three months. Upon my arrival in Japan, I had a wonderful time and I wanted to learn more about Japan. Therefore, after graduating from college in the US, I decided to study in Japan again and applied for the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) scholarship.

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

I met many foreign students during my three months at Osaka University, and they gave me a lot of information about studying in Japan. I also went to Osaka University's International Student Center to seek advice. In the United States, I collected information related to studying in Japan through the Internet as well as the Japanese Embassy, the AIEJ Web site, my college's International Office, Career Information Center and the Japan Society. As for the Japanese language, I took courses at college in the US. However, I was not able to learn very much since the courses were not very advanced. Therefore, although the tutorial fee was high, I took private lessons for a year and a half. I did not like Kanji at first, but I became interested as my studies progressed, and I came to like Kanji. Learning Kanji became an asset for studying Japanese since the knowledge of Kanji made it easier for me to not only learn new words but also the Japanese language as a whole. The school year had already begun in April in Japan although my graduation from college in the United States was in May. Therefore, I had to wait approximately one year before I could come to Japan and enter a Japanese university. During the interim, I studied Japanese and made preparations to study in Japan while I worked.

How were you Japanese-language studies in Japan?

I did not attend a Japanese-language institute as is typical. Instead, I entered the University of Tokyo and studied Japanese at the university's International Center for approximately six months. The course included conversation, Kanji and grammar, and we especially studied a great deal of grammar. There are about ten teachers there. They are all enthusiastic, and they always welcome questions from students. If you are serious about studying Japanese, you will be able to learn a great deal, but it is important that you apply yourself to learning the language. I am currently studying hard for my entrance exam in February so that I can become a fulltime student.

Can you tell us about
your daily life as a foreign student in Japan?

I live in a dormitory for government-scholarship students. There are students from all over the world at the dorm so I have made many friends. They have different perspectives on things depending on where they are from so I am learning many things and am enjoying it.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?

Students who come from countries that do not use Kanji may be worried about studying in Japan, but I think you should go ahead and come to Japan without worrying about your language ability. When I studied in Osaka for three months, I traveled to Kyoto and Nara and learned about traditional Japanese culture. I hope that you will also travel throughout Japan when you come here and learn about Japanese culture.

Uploaded on 24th July 2002