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Study Abroad - From the world to WASEDA -

From Taiwan to WASEDA

Shiyo Chin
4th year student in the School of International Liberal Studies

I am from Taipei in Taiwan. Three years ago I made the decision to study abroad in Japan because of my interest in the country and an attraction to the lifestyle of the nation. Since coming to Japan, I have been involved in a variety of activities not only to study Japanese but also because I wanted to learn more about the culture and customs of Japan.

In the summer of 2011, I participated in a homestay program in Hokkaido and spent several weeks in a town called Kenbuchi. Unlike Tokyo, this is a town in the countryside with abundant nature. I removed weeds from the fields in the morning and I harvested tomatoes together with my host grandmother in the afternoon. My grandparents were also a farming family, so I felt very nostalgic. In addition, when I was not able to catch what was being said in Japanese, my host family gave me explanations slowly, so I was also able to improve my language abilities. I was able to hear directly the Japanese way of thinking by talking about various topics with proactive cultural exchange. This meant it was such a great experience that I didn't even want to go back to Tokyo.

Even now, I am still in contact with my host family. At New Year's, I received a letter and sweets from my host family and I returned the favor with a souvenir from Taiwan when I went back home during the spring break. Furthermore, I attended a seminar camp that was held in Hokkaido during the summer vacation this year, so I was able to meet my host family again. I was truly happy to be treated as a member of the family and to be able to feel the warm heart of the Japanese people.

I also feel that I would like to repay the favor by my host family, so I have decided to work in Japan after I graduate. Since my host family supported me, I was able to get the confidence to work in Japan and I now feel that I want to work hard at my job hunting.

It is precisely because I studied abroad at Waseda University that I was able to participate in these various extracurricular activities like the homestay program and have experiences I will never forget. I am truly very lucky to have been able to study at Waseda University in Japan.

Taking on the challenge of soran bushi (traditional song of Hokkaido) at the Waseda Festival 2011

Participating in the dance of the Bon Festival (custom to honor the spirits of one's ancestors) in Kenbuchi

Meeting my host family again this summer (the author is on the right in the front row)