留学生インタビュー

Patricia Takayama is third-generation Japanese: her mother majored in economics at the Graduate School of the University of Tokyo. It was listening to her mother's stories from childhood that inspired Patricia to visit Japan.

Although her parents told her "Do whatever you want to do", she was strongly influenced by her management consultant father and chartered accountant mother. "I suddenly realised I was following in my parents' footsteps," explains Patricia. After studying economics at the University of Buenos Aires, she worked as a chartered accountant, dreaming of one day becoming a bridge between Argentina and Japan.

She took the opportunity to apply for a JICA scholarship and finally realized her dreams of coming to Japan where she took a Masters at the Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University. Patricia analyzed international distribution of merchandise and researched export strategies. Her second opportunity to study in Japan, this time with a Japanese government scholarship, will take place under the guidance of a professor who specializes in cross-cultural management. Patricia's research focus is on export strategies for cultural products that are receiving international attention such as Japanese anime.

Patricia found that the hardest part of the scholarship process this time was being admitted to a Japanese university. After passing both Japanese and English language exams, applicants must get in touch with professors at their desired university and get permission from them directly. She tried to get in touch with several professors at different universities, but as this was during the summer holidays for Japan, she found it very difficult to contact people. Patricia says she was delighted that she got a swift response from her Waseda professor, since that was the university she was most interested in.

Patricia lives a busy life and relaxes by walking 6km home from Mass every Sunday: it takes 90 minutes to walk the path between her student dorm and her church in Yotsuya. "Tokyo roads are so wide, and many are lovely tree-lined avenues. I really enjoy the walk." She also confesses that karaoke sessions with friends after hard studying are a great way to blow off steam.

When asked about her plans for the future Patricia smiles and says, "I want to go back to Argentina and become a college professor. There's a lot of European and American research in Argentina, but very little for Asia. So I want to build a Japanese research department."

Uploaded on 16th December 2010