It is January, and the autumn semester is coming to an end. For the freshman students, I hope that their first semester as college students was full of new discoveries both inside and outside of campus.
The year since I started my studies here at Nagoya University passed by so quickly, and yet, I find many memorable moments. When I look back at 2013, it was full of new beginnings. Some of the biggest changes were joining a bukatsu (extracurricular activity) and starting a part-time job. Meeting new people outside the university broadened my understanding of the society, and taught me things that cannot be taught through textbooks. During bukatsu and work, I am proud when my ability to speak English is needed – as a bilingual student, translating Japanese to the international students and customers I encounter in bukatsu and work makes me recognize the importance of being bilingual. I also think that learning to manage our time by joining these activities also gives us a chance to prepare for our life after college – if you have not already joined one, I really encourage you to!
Being part of an international environment such as the G30 program at NU is a valuable experience. Education in university is completely different from the style in high school. Studies had to be done independently, and the level of education is higher. However, I managed to overcome the exams and reports due to the help of my classmates and professors, as the G30 environment enables support for each student. Also, studying in a normal program would not have given me such a global environment that G30 provides us. Through the program, over the past year, I met people from all around the world and experienced that nationality does not matter in friendship. I think this is one advantage we have as G30 students.
When I first met my classmates at the orientation a year ago, I was not able to talk or even make eye contact with anyone. After a year, I learned to blend in to the class. A new year has started, and I am looking forward to finding out where it will take me in life. I hope, that it will also be a fruitful year for the G30 students, faculty, and also for the prospective students enrolling this year as well.