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Study Abroad - From the world to WASEDA -

Chrisoula is currently writing her master' s thesis.

From Greece to Waseda

Ms. Chrisoula Sotiriou
2nd Year Student in the Master Program of the Graduate School of Social Sciences

Interest in Japan sparked by friends

Even at Waseda, which boasts the highest number of foreign exchange students in Japan, Chrisoula is one of the few foreign exchange students from Greece. "I love sushi and Japanese cuisine", Chrisoula says cheerfully. Her major is management and marketing, and she has acquired an MBA from the University of Kent, located in England. While studying abroad in England, Chrisoula began to earnestly study the Japanese language and culture. Eventually, she was "fascinated by the character of the friends of a Japanese person who had become my friend", and decided to study abroad in Japan. Chrisoula applied to the National Foreign Exchange Student System administered by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and passed with flying colors. She received letters of acceptance from many universities in Japan, but she chose Waseda University because "Waseda had the most international atmosphere".

Perseverance acquired by overcoming the language barrier

The beautiful white-walled homes of Santorini Island

However, before officially enrolling in the Graduate School of Social Sciences, Chrisoula spent time as a research student at Waseda. During that time, she encountered a sizeable language barrier. "Every day for half of a year, I shut myself up in my room or the library and did nothing but study Japanese. I barely had any friends and I didn't have confidence in myself. It was a lonely and tough time for me.However, thanks to this experience, it is true that I was able to acquire the quality of true "perseverance" that I didn't have until then." Now, Chrisoula laughs away the difficult times in her past with a radiant smile. "I am truly grateful for the encouragement of seminar Professor Tadashi Inoue and the support system for foreign exchange students at Waseda University. I will submit my master's thesis in Japanese and will definitely get a degree from Waseda!" This strong sense of purpose has made it possible for Chrisoula to break through the language barrier.

An "attitude of cooperative learning" is important-from the perspective of a foreign exchange student

Currently, Chrisoula is writing her master's thesis on research themes such as the social norms of Japan and the effect of those norms on the employment system. She implemented a questionnaire for more than 600 employees from major construction companies of Japan and Greece. "I believe that not only Greece, but also Europe and America have much to learn from the Japanese employment system." From the perspective of a foreign exchange student, Chrisoula emphasizes a stance of cooperative learning and understanding, stating that "European and American society should know more about Japan. Additionally, Japan should use English to convey more information more information to international society."

"After graduation, I would like to work at a Japanese construction firm which possesses world-leading technology. However, before that, I would like to study Japanese more and pass Level 1 of the Japanese Proficiency Test." Friendly relationships between Greece and Japan would be even brighter if there were more people like Chrisoula.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)