留学生インタビュー

As a Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho)
Scholarship student, can you tell us how you learned
about the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho)
Scholarship? Also, why did you decide to study in Japan?

I first heard about the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship from a friend. Scholarship programs were also available from various other countries such as Russia, China and Cuba, but I chose Japan. I was interested in Japan because relations between Japan and Mongolia have become very good recently, and because Japan provides economic assistance to Mongolia. I also wanted to learn how Japan developed after World War II into the developed country that it is today. Actually, it wasn't until I watched the Japanese serial drama "Oshin" on Mongolian television that I learned that immediately after World War II Japan was very impoverished and circumstances at the time were very harsh. Unlike in the past, there is a lot of information about Japan that comes into Mongolia today. We can even watch Sumo matches in Mongolia through NHK broadcasts.

Did you have an opportunity to study Japanese
before coming to Japan?

Recently, you can find many Japanese language schools in Mongolia. I attended one for about one month before I came to Japan. I spent the month learning hiragana, katakana, and how to count from one to ten. But when I came to Japan, we were taught all of that on the first day of class, so it turns out that my pre-study in Japanese was worth only one day's study! (laughs)

The one year of preparatory language training that
you receive at a Japanese-language institute is
conducted completely in Japanese, isn't it? Is it
possible to learn and speak Japanese so quickly?

Even though Japanese is easy to pronounce for Mongolians and the grammar of the two languages are similar, I could hardly speak any Japanese during my first year in Japan. However, my Japanese teachers were wonderful, and they patiently taught me the Japanese language using only Japanese. I still feel a lot of gratitude toward them. Also, during the summer break, there were many programs and events for foreign students, including home stays, and I stayed with Japanese host family in Hokkaido for about three weeks during my first year. The home stay really improved my ability to speak Japanese.

I understand that all fifth-year students at colleges of
technology work on a graduation thesis. Can you tell
us about yours?

The theme of the graduation thesis that I am working on at the Department of Electronic Engineering is "Developing Educational Materials for Digital Modulation/Demodulation Systems." Digital modulation/demodulation systems are used in wireless communications, including mobile phones. It is a technique used to transmit audio by changing it into electric waves, and to change the signal received by a mobile phone back into audio. It is a very important telecommunications technology and a compulsory subject at schools that teach electronic engineering. However, there are no good educational materials as of yet for experiments related to digital modulation/demodulation systems. I hope to create educational materials for experiments related to these systems and have my college of technology as well as other schools that teach electronic engineering utilize the educational materials in their experiments. This is a theme and a project that my school, including my seniors, have been involved in for the past three years, so I hope that I can complete the project this year. It should be completed as quickly as possible because telecommunications technology changes so rapidly and we could see the appearance of a technique that is completely different from digital modulation/demodulation.

Tell us about dormitory life at a college of technology.
And, what do you do on weekends?

Dormitory life is pretty comfortable. I am very busy and don't have time to cook for myself, but the dorm cafeteria is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which makes things convenient for me. Foreign students and Japanese students live together at the dormitory. On weekends, I often visit a very good Mongolian friend of mine who is studying law at Tokyo Metropolitan University. He is a privately-financed foreign student who is staying at the home of his Japanese guarantor. I also sometimes go to the Komaba International Students House to visit younger Mongolian students who are staying there. Foreign students who live at an international students' house sometimes become isolated if they do not speak Japanese, English or some other foreign language, since they can't communicate with the other foreign students there. Just yesterday, there was a gathering of such foreign students and senior foreign students who could offer them advice. The teachers from the Japanese-language school also attended at the meeting and we talked about this. We decided to create a consultation committee to think about countermeasures for the problems faced by such Asian foreign students.

What do you plan to do after graduation?

My term as a Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship student will end, so I plan to go back to Mongolia once and then return to Japan to work. I have received a job offer from a software company in Yoyogi. Six Mongolians already work there! I plan to return to Mongolia eventually, but I want to have a working experience at a Japanese company first. I have heard that people work very hard at Japanese companies, and I want to find out what makes it possible for people to work like that. My feeling is that when Japanese people are going to do some kind of work, they always do that work conscientiously. Also, Japanese people seem to plan properly before they do something, and commit themselves to doing a specific job only when they feel that they can actually do that work.

What kind of dreams do you have for your future?

Since I am now in a developed country like Japan, I want to use this opportunity to acquire superior technology so that I can use it to change Mongolia into a developed country like Japan. That is why I am going to be working in Japan. Foreign graduates of colleges of technology often go on to advanced courses or universities. I, too, was urged by my parents and people around me to go on to a university. However, I thought that I could achieve more by working in Japan. There are no jobs in Mongolia in the field of electronic engineering. However, it is my dream to create a job in electronic engineering - my field of expertise - by myself, when I return to Mongolia after working in Japan.

How was Japan different from the Japan that you knew when you were living in Mongolia?

The thing that surprised me the most was that there are so many people in Japan. When I was in Shibuya, Tokyo, I wondered where all of these people came from. In Mongolia, it is the custom to shake hands with people if your foot bump into theirs. But on the Yamanote line, it is crowded so you inevitably always bump feet with someone. In the beginning, I used to turn around and extend my hand quickly out of habit. This would surprise the person that I had bumped into. Now, I have become quite Japanese in my habits. If I get a phone call from one of my teachers, I bow on the phone while I am speaking. My Mongolian friends laugh when they see me doing so. Japan and Mongolia has a different culture. I am stimulated in many different ways every day by the different culture.

Would you give us just one example of what you felt
was good about coming to Japan to study?

It would be the fact that I have been able to see Japan's advanced technology first-hand through plant tours organized by my school or during summer training. At a company that manufactures electric equipment, I saw a machine that slices silicon from blocks in order to make chips. I was then amazed by a machine that processed the silicon because it looked almost like it was printing something. When I went to see automobile manufacturing, I was very impressed when I saw them simulating production by utilizing a super computer. They were doing this as a cost cutting measure. When I was a fourth-year student, I was dispatched to the plant of a company located in Kokubunji, Tokyo, as an intern during summer holidays. It was a company that manufactures acoustic devices and hearing aids. Being able to receive practical work training out on the field was a very precious experience for me

Do you have any advice to prospective students
aiming to enter a college of technology?

First of all, they should study Japanese. If possible, they should also learn about Japanese culture and customs. I think it would help if they could study, for example, about what kinds of things Japanese people do not like or what would be considered impolite, before they come to Japan.

Uploaded on 23rd January 2004