Growing as a NagoyaU student

Hi there! I am Yukina from Japan, and I am currently a third year student in the School of Science, Department of Biological Sciences. I am excited to introduce you what being a student of Nagoya University can offer in this condensed blog post, focusing mainly on the city of Nagoya, club activities and the academic experiences you can obtain at Nagoya University.

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G30 Nagoya University Fall Entrance Ceremony

To me, food is the most important factor in life, because without good food, I often become pessimistic. Here are some excellent news: Nagoya is famous for its miso-based products, and I have been indulging in them since I moved here. Miso-nikomi udon (udon in miso soup) and misokatsu (fried pork with miso sauce) are some of my favourite dishes. Although I really enjoy the food in Nagoya, I sometimes miss Southeast Asian food, because I was brought up in Singapore for almost ten years. Luckily, Nagoya hosts a lot of festivals such as the Thai Festival, where I can taste memories of my childhood.

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Miso-nikomi udon (udon in miso soup)

On some weekends, particularly when I do not have as many assignments due the next week, I often go out for a day or a weekend trip to different prefectures around Nagoya, in order to refresh my mind from the busy school work. Nagoya is located almost at the centre of Japan, which makes travelling to Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka and other nearby prefectures very convenient. One of my most memorable trips was to the Magome hiking trail via local train. Two of my closest friends and I hiked and enjoyed the scenery and food of Gifu and Nagano prefectures. I always feel thankful that I was able to meet such wonderful people in Nagoya University, and breathing in fresh air from mountains and valleys is always detoxing.

Hiking up a 1000m mountain in autumn, tea time at Magome hiking trail in spring

To communicate with other majors and construct social networks with Japanese students outside of the G30 course, I participated in the TEDxNagoyaU organisation team. I used to lead the Speaker Team, a team in charge of choosing speakers, editing their scripts and directing their stage performances. This was my first time diving into a Japanese-only environment so it was a huge challenge, especially in terms of communication style differences, but I made some of my closest friends here. It expanded my community and taught me interpersonal skills that cannot be obtained in classroom situations.

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TEDxNagoyaU 2018 rehearsal

Nagoya University also gave me an opportunity to broaden my horizons through a short-term exchange to Cambridge University. With a Nagoya University professor and five other Nagoya University students, I visited the university to attend lectures and make some friends there. It was such a great honour to be given this chance, and I wish I could be a participant again!

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Short-term exchange to Cambridge University

Being a Nagoya University student is not only great for the above aspects, but especially for the close interactions I am privileged to have with great scientists. Two years ago, I have attended a talk session with five other students to have the opportunity to exchange opinions on “science”, “happiness”, and “success” with Professor Noyori, a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. Recently, I also had a chance to attend a symposium by Professor Okazaki, who is famous for the discovery of Okazaki fragments in DNA replication mechanism. Nagoya University provides me with academically stimulating experiences.

Professor Noyori and Professor Okazaki

As a science student, I also had a chance to take a laboratory course on different fields of biology including neuroscience — I had fun learning laboratory techniques and other skills. Another course on neuroscience especially fascinated me, and so I decided to enter a research laboratory that conducts research on fruit flies’ brains.

This spring holiday, I will be embarking on a research internship in the United States to explore emotion regulations of humans. I am overly excited to see where the rest of my experience as a student in Nagoya University will take me, and I look forward to talking to future students here at Nagoya University, as a family in this wonderful academic and social environment.

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