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Study Abroad - From WASEDA to the world -

From WASEDA to South Africa & France

Ms. Yumi Tanimura
2011 Graduate from the Master's Program of the Okuma School of Public Management

At the OECD Paris office

For 10 months from February to December 2006 through the exchange student system, I did an exchange at the University of Cape Town in the Republic of South Africa. After that, for six months from September 2010 to February 2011 through the OECD Internship Program, I worked as an intern at the Paris OECD Development Center. My two overseas exchange experiences while studying at Waseda were extremely fresh and valuable to me and provided me with many influences and memories in my life.

My first encounter with Development Studies goes well back to before my entering Waseda University. It happened when I was a part of volunteer activities as a high school student and visited Nepal. During that time, albeit poorly, I felt the necessity and importance of Development Studies. After that, I entered the School of International Liberal Studies and took part in the School's international exchange program. I chose the University of Cape Town in the Republic of South Africa as my destination because I thought that I could conduct actual field work at the same time as learning development studies.

The University of Cape Town has set up an NGO called SHAWCO, and once a week, as a member of this NGO, I was involved in activities that fostered correct knowledge regarding HIV / AIDS. Through these activities, as well as being able to understand the actual state of the region that you cannot learn through books and the media alone, I think I was also able to be of some use to the locals.

With that background I wondered whether I could put to use the development studies I learnt at university, and during my Master's studies I heard of the OECD Internship Program and thought that I definitely wanted to take part.

Because of my exchange experience in the Republic of South Africa, I had continued research in the local society and had received an offer as an intern at the OECD Development Center, the African specialist of EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). This position involved conducting surveys and research regarding "what should be done for the development of African countries" and publishing an "African Economic Outlook"on a yearly basis. In that, I was in charge of drafting the section called 'South African Country Note'which reports the latest data relating to the South African economic and political situation. In compiling this "Country Note", starting with the writers of essays I had read, I was also able to have direct contact with people from South Africa's Finance Ministry and Central Bank. Gathering and editing data together with these people was a valuable experience. During my stay in South Africa, while having a close-up look of local conditions, I could play a part in their development, and on the other hand, with my work at OECD, I could contribute to a different opening at an international level.

In France I couldn't get a good grasp of the language and, at times, had difficulties in my everyday life, but through my work, I could understand the general functions of OECD and the role of the development center, as well as understand the true meaning of working for OECD. Getting to meet coworkers from various backgrounds and making new friends was the best thing I acquired from this internship.

Doing NGO work

Doing NGO work

Program Introduction

Waseda-net Portal is accepting registration for the 2011 Summer Short-Term Program until May 30th (Monday). For more details, please check the website of the Center for International Education listed below.

Waseda University Center for International Education (CIE)

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)