留学生インタビュー

Why did you decide to study in Japan?

I decided to study in Japan because I thought that Japan was a very developed country. I was especially very interested in how Japan achieved its national development after World War II because it was so remarkable. I also wanted to know about the differences between Japan and Uzbekistan. Even though the two countries are both located in the Asian region, they are so far apart in terms of distance.
An Uzbek Human Resources Development Scholarship Program began in 1999 through Japanese ODA (grant aid), which enables 20 Uzbek students every year to study at a Japanese graduate school. The selection exam was very difficult, but I passed, and studied at Kyushu University as part of the first class of students under this program between September 2000 and August 2001.

How was your life in Japan?

I lived at the Kyushu University International House while I was studying at Kyushu University. I thought that Fukuoka City, where Kyushu University is located, was similar to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. I thought I would be wasting this opportunity to be in Japan if I spent my time only studying, so I visited various places of interest in Japan, too. The most memorable was going to see the Yaku Cedar (ancient Japanese cedar) on Yakushima (Yaku Island). We finally reached Yakushima after changing buses and making connections to a boat, etc. We sometimes stayed in tents, and at a log house, we cooked our own meals. It is not an easy trip, but I was surprised to see so many elderly Japanese people participating. Universal Studios Japan opened in Osaka during spring break, and I was able to visit it on the 5th day after opening. I also visited Kobe, Kyoto and Nara, and was able to create many fond memories.

What kind of a relationship did you maintain with Japan after returning to Uzbekistan?

I was able to make many friends during my stay in Japan; not just Japanese friends but also people from Uzbekistan as well as many other countries. To date, 100 Uzbek students have studied in Japan through the same scholarship program as mine. I felt that there was a need to explain what circumstances were like in Japan to Uzbek students before they went to Japan to study. So, 10 friends from my study-in-Japan days and I established the Japanese Alumni Center in 2005. Membership has increased to about 80 people today. Anyone who has experienced studying in Japan can become a member of this alumni association. We have yet to start full-blown activities, but in the future, we would like to do things like publish summaries of members' master's theses on the Japan Alumni Center website.

Do you have any advice for Uzbek students who will be going to Japan to study?

1. To get to know about Japanese culture and people, you will need to first learn Japanese. Please study the Japanese language as solidly as possible before you go to Japan to study. 2. Please make many Japanese friends during your stay in Japan. 3. Please learn as much as you can about the Japanese culture, Japanese circumstances, etc.

Uploaded on 22nd February 2006