Student Newsletter -May 2014- By Raashidah Tan, School of Science

It’s been two and a half years since I first came to Nagoya, and looking back, I can’t believe that time has passed so quickly. I was born and grew up in the sunny island of Singapore. Visiting Japan and becoming fluent in Japanese has been a dream of mine since I was in middle school, hence I jumped at the opportunity to live and study in Nagoya when I was accepted into the G30 Chemistry Program.
Like any pioneer batch of all new programs, I remember many difficulties that we faced when it came to adjusting to our new Japanese university life, such as administrative problems or communication breakdowns. Many of us foreign students could not speak Japanese at first, and the customs and culture here were very different from the way thingswere done back in our homelands. However, with the help of supportive faculty members and a beautiful dormitory to call home (at least for the first year), I was able to make many new friends who I hold dear in my heart.
The G30 classes are taught entirely in English, my native language, hence greatly enhancing my understanding. Many of the professors here at Nagoya University are outstanding in their research fields, which allows the students here to study not only the most recent developments in science but also have hands-on experience in research. Currently, as a third year student, my afternoons are dedicated to laboratory experiments from all the different fields of Chemistry. In my fourth year, I hope to be able to join a laboratory and do research as part of a team.
Despite the busy academic schedule, one should always find time to get out of the house and appreciate the beauty of Japan’s four seasons. I love traveling, and have gone on a few trips with friends or on my own. Nagoya
is located in Central Japan, and hence is easily connected to most of the popular tourist destinations.
With the help of my Japanese friends, I learn new things about Japanese culture every day, and also get to enjoy many traditional events throughout the year. To supplement my university student experience, I also joined the Urasenke Sado (Tea Ceremony) Club and picked up a part-time job. Through such activities and regular conversation, I was able to improve my Japanese more quickly as well as learn more about Japanese society.
Doubtless there will be times when I miss home, but thanks to the many supportive friends and family both here and back home, I have no regrets choosing to step out of my comfort zone and starting a new chapter of my life at this university.

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