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Study Abroad - From the world to WASEDA -

From Czech Republic to WASEDA

Ms. Fialova Anezka
1st year student at the School of International Liberal Studies

"Why did you want to study in Japan?" I think this is probably the question that I have been asked most often since coming to Japan. However, it is not that easy for me to give an answer to this question. It was a day nine years ago when I was in high school that I read a poster on a bulletin board in the school. "Won't you take a Japanese language elective course?" It doesn't mean that I knew much about Japan, but I thought it would be interesting to study a language which doesn't use the Latin alphabet and so I become interested in Japanese. I don't necessarily believe in fate, but it is because I read that poster on that day that I came to study abroad at Waseda University. During my time at Waseda University, I have learned many things other than Japanese. Studying abroad has led to great opportunities which I wouldn't have been able to experience if I had remained in my own country. For example, although I don't like mountain climbing, I climbed Mount Fuji. Although I am afraid of rollercoasters, I tried going to Fuji-Q Highland. Although I don't drink much alcohol, I also hung out with my friends at get-togethers where there was drinking. To an overseas student that was able to do things they supposed they were not good at, this has become an unforgettable experience for all. Moreover, because there are many international students from all over the world at Waseda University, it is possible to become good friends with people of various nationalities, not just Japanese people. In particular, it is important to be able to experience different cultures. I could broaden my cultural perspective through my friends that have lived in different countries. Nevertheless, just because the cultures are different, it is important not to judge what is "good" or "bad" compared to your own culture; instead it is valuable to become someone that respects people who have different ways of thinking to your own.

I think that being an overseas student is an extremely special opportunity. Sometimes unforeseen things may happen during your period as an overseas student. An example of this is the recent Great East Japan Earthquake. This was a truly terrible disaster, but I was able to see the character of the Japanese people at that difficult time. The people of Tohoku have never given up, even though they face a very tough road to recovery. They are persevering with all their might and supporting each other. The revival of their communities is steadily continuing. I want to tell people back home that I felt "In my own country, there is no way that this kind of attitude would be possible" and also that the behavior of the Japanese people who experienced this disaster is very dear to my heart. In that way, overseas students can make a connection, like a bridge, between different cultures and our own countries. Therefore, I think the more overseas students there are, the more the world will become one. If you decide to study abroad, I think you will be truly able to experience the culture and life of the country where you study and will create unforgettable memories!

Overseas students climbing Mount Fuji

With female overseas student friends of West Waseda Dormitory (writer, center)

Japan Culture Association "kimono and shamisen (three-stringed Japanese guitar)" event

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)