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Student Column 1
Gabi Steinbach, majoring in Physics at TU Chemnitz in Germany.
(Gabi is pictured on the right)
I just can say THANKS to all the members of the NUPACE
team! From the very first moment there was a familiar atmosphere that
made a comparatively easy start possible- into a world which was
totally different from what I had known and experienced before. Of
course it took some time to get used to and understand the Japanese
lifestyle. Coming here with almost no Japanese language skills, the
language barrier, not least of all, made everyday a challenge- not only
in finding my own way around but also in making contact with the
Japanese. But for this, the language programme, although really quite
tough, offered a "shinkansen speed-like" introduction. Even after a few
weeks I could make my first friends without using any language other
Apart from Japanese, I also enjoyed becoming friends with people from
all over the world: Usually in the evenings we gathered together in the
lobby of Ohmeikan, our dormitory, to have fun together (lots of parties
or just sitting together and sharing home made national food cooked by
everyone). There, upcoming discussions about everybody’s country and
its characteristics made some evenings a small journey around the
world. Some of them inspired me so much, that, after exploring the
width of Japan- from Hokkaido to Kyushu-, I made plans to travel with
some of my new friends to their home country. Where could you find a
better introduction to the Asian world than by the people themselves?!
Student Column 2
Okie Primatyo, majoring in electrical engineering at Gadjah Mada
University in Indonesia.
Honestly, my first experience of Japan is “Doraemon” and
“Dragon Ball”. Then I started watching Japanese dramas and listening to
J-Pop. From them I could see how great, interesting, and amazing Japan
is. That time, I realised that I really wanted to go to Japan, see
Japan directly, and feel “the real Japan.” I applied to NUPACE twice.
My first attempt failed. After sending an application for the second
time, they wrote, “I am pleased to inform you that you have been
successfully admitted to the School of Engineering…” That time I heard
songs from heaven.
However, when I came to Japan for the first time in April 2009,
I didn’t know about the Japanese language at all. But, that was not a
problem because NUPACE gave me everything to be hero from zero. Really!
The best thing is the Japanese language course with good materials and
great teachers. The content is related to my environment, so I can
learn easily. There is also a Japanese tutoring system with a Japanese
student. My tutor was so nice and answered all my questions even the
silliest ones. Not only could I choose a Japanese course, but also
other subjects, like electrical engineering, production engineering,
and many more. And thanks to NUPACE, I could do research in a modern
lab. It was interesting to research about hierarchical optical network
design. My professor was very warm and supportive. The Lab’s members
were nice too. We held parties together.
Not only is there study, but there are also parties, lots of
them. I could meet Japanese and other international students. The best
thing is that I can make friends from all around the world! We shared
our culture, went on trips together, did some parties, and much more. I
even practiced my English. And I can’t forget about my home-stay
program. I had the chance to make ceramics, sushi, and party together.
They were fun.
So, what do you have to wait for? Go to Japan and feel the “real
Japan.” And NUPACE is the best programme. I mean it.
Student Column 3
Sovira Chhum, majoring in Japanese Studies at Monash University in
(Sovira is pictured on the left)
When I joined the NUPACE programme at Nagoya University I
was really unsure about how life in Japan would turn out. But luckily
there are a lot of good members of staff at the University who help you
ease into life in Japan, even if you don’t speak very much Japanese at
all, as was the case with me. The Japanese language programme,
especially the intensive programme, can be really tough since it starts
in the mornings. And, since I was never a morning person, it was
especially tough. But the tutor system that the university provides can
really help you with your Japanese, settling into Japan, and you may
even make a really close friend out of your tutor! But going on
exchange I’ve learned doesn’t benefit just your Japanese; it gives you
the opportunity to make friends with people from all over the world and
is also a chance for you to discover new cultures through international
exchange events at the Education Centre for International Students. I
must admit the first few months are always going to be tough, but it
can be very rewarding in the end. The city is quiet and is not as
bustling as Osaka or Tokyo, and is very close to Nara and Kyoto. So
being a fan of traditional Japan, I took advantage of the location to
travel all around the Kansai region and even went as far as Kyushu!
So is it worth your while coming to Nagoya University? While I
can’t really answer that question, the staff here is more than capable
of helping you with every step of settling into your life in Japan and,
despite the morning starts and all the ups downs, I have not regretted
coming in the end.
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