留学生インタビュー

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview. You are from Myanmar and are enrolled in the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Science and Engineering. Could you tell us why you choose to come to Japan to study?

I studied telecommunications under a master program at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). I thought that I could make a more advanced study on this field in Japan because of Japan 's very advanced mobile and wireless telecommunications systems. In addition, I was interested in Japan's post-war development. Japan has developed into an affluent country even though Japan was devastated right after WWII. I wanted to learn more about this, too, in addition to my major field.

I see. Could you explain what you are researching in telecommunications, your major, simply enough for me who is a social science major to understand?

Let me start by telling you why I decided to study telecommunications. When I was a child, I loved to listen to folk tales to the radio. I wondered how the voices from the radio or visuals seen on TV "flew" through the air. This was the starting point of my interest in telecommunications. I kept this interest and studied telecommunications at the Yangon Institute of Technology in Myanmar. At my current graduate school, I am researching WCDMA technology, which is a system often used for mobile phones and wireless LANs. This isn't too difficult, is it? (laughs) Research related to mobile phone technology is very popular right now, so we have to make results for increasing speed or enhancing data quality as swiftly as possible. Otherwise, it becomes outdated. It is no easy task, but I am very happy when we make good results. I want to make ends meet in the academic world as a researcher, so I am aiming to conduct research that has originality.

Well, your research sounds very challenging. I am sure that you have to spare a lot of time for research and studies, but how is your campus life?

We study at our laboratory, and enjoy ourselves quite a lot in between our studies. We go out for lunch, exercise at the gymnasium, and so on. I studied Japanese through the AYF program, so it was easy for me to make Japanese friends here. My Japanese friends are teaching me many things about Japan.

Could you tell us more about AYF program?

AYF stands for the Asian Youth Fellowship Program. It is a scholarship offered by the Japan Foundation, entrusting Asia SEED to implement. I was a participant in Year 6 of this program. The AYF scholarship is granted to students from ASEAN countries plus Bangladesh. Participants spend about 14 months in Malaysia, making preparation for studying in Japan by intensive study on Japanese language in the dormitory, and contacting their planned academic supervisors, and so on. I became very good friends with the 17 classmates from 11 different countries because I shared day and night with them. We studied Japanese from 8:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays, and even experienced some Bon Odori dancing. This program helped me imagine what it would be like in Japan, so that once I arrived, I was able to adjust smoothly to Japan's culture with only a bit of disorientation. Since I had studied with students from many different countries through the AYF program, I quickly made friends with the 6 other students from abroad who are in my laboratory. I think it is a very good thing for Myanmar's future for a person to become friends with people from many different countries.

Your Japanese is really very good. One year has already passed since your arrival. Have you travelled anywhere?

I climbed Mt. Fuji. Once is enough for me since the descending was really strenuous. I also went to Tokushima to attend an exchange party with other AYF alumni. I had a lot of fun.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your study-stay here in Japan, and wish you success on your research. In closing, do you have any advice to students who are planning to come to Japan to study?

I think, if possible, you better study Japanese language before you come to Japan. Once you are here, it is important that you do not stray from your chosen path so that your dream comes true. Finally, you should try to make use of what you learn during your studies in Japan for the well being of your mother country or region.

Thank you very much.

(Interviewer: Yukiko Nakagama, Chuo University student and Ministry of Foreign Affairs intern)

Uploaded on 20th October 2003