留学生インタビュー

Why did you want to come to Japan to study?

I learned about the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania and applied. Many of my friends wanted to study abroad somewhere within Europe, and initially I was thinking about studying in the United Kingdom. However, as everyone was heading west, I thought I wanted to go to the East and decided to study in Japan. I also chose Japan because a friend of mine - who had studied in Japan as a Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship student - recommended it to me. Hiroshima University was one of the few universities in Japan that had a graduate school of international cooperation studies.

How are you socializing with Japanese students
at your university and others?

I made many Japanese friends right away through my tutor, who introduced me to his friends. Albanians are highly adaptable people. More than three times the number of its domestic population is said to live abroad. I had no problem becoming friends right away with Japanese people as well as other foreign students. Last summer, we had a party by a lake situated close to our university. About 300 Japanese and foreign students were at the lake-side party. Recently, one of the foreign students from Austria set up a special Austrian wine party. The university also held welcome parties for us as well as parties where we danced the dances and sang the songs of our home countries. These gatherings helped us to become good friends with each other. I also often go to Izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) with my friends. My Japanese friends are very kind, and they help me right away if I am in need. I love the smiles on the faces of my Japanese friends more than anything else.

What kind of problems did you encounter after
coming to Japan?Also,do you get homesick?

I was worried that the entrance exam would be very difficult. However, I was able to take the examination in English, and I also found that it was not so very difficult. Fortunately, the classes in my major are in English, so I do not have a language problem. On the other hand, this means that I do not have much opportunity to learn Japanese, so next year, I am planning to take some classes in Japanese. I recently received a notice for income tax returns. As a scholarship student, I was not sure if I had to report my income, so I went to the tax office to confirm. I went to the tax office by myself and was able to communicate in Japanese. I filed the income tax return as having no income to declare.

What is your future goal?

Japan is a country with the political power that can affect many countries around the world. I enjoy being able do research in international economics in such a country. My father is a politician and a former member of parliament in Albania. I hope to become a politician like he is back in my home country. I would particularly like to make use of what I am learning in Japan and address improvement of the Albanian economy.

Do you have any message to those in Albania
who may be thinking about studying abroad?

There are currently about 20 Albanians living in Japan. Everyone that I have met has said that they like Japan very much. I like Japan, too. And what is more, you can do research here that is not possible to carry out in Albania. I recommend coming to Japan to study. I also think that it would be good to study Japanese before you come. It is because knowing how to speak Japanese will help you to adjust to life in Japan even more quickly.

Uploaded on 16th April 2008