life experience at Waseda
Student from National Chengchi University in 2013
I never thought that I would become a Waseda student; however, I did. Although my stay was short; but to think of it now, it still seems to be like a dream. I can still remember how I felt when I first received my acceptance letter, it was kind of like winning the lottery, because I’m not only going to Waseda, but also going to Tokyo! Waseda is well known for its academic status and exceptional education, outstanding students coming from all over Japan came here to pursue their degree and a better future. So to have the opportunity to come to Waseda and experience life here was truly an honor.
At the beginning of the program I have received all kinds of help and guidance from the school and the School of Commerce, so to quickly settle down was not a difficult mission. A detailed orientation was given, and the school provided other assistance to help exchange students with insurance, resident registration process and opening bank accounts. Once this necessary step was completed, what’s left of it was for me to enjoy my stay and life at Waseda.
I registered 10 courses in that semester, including three Japanese courses. Japanese courses from CJL, gave students many choices to decide whether the topic was appealing or the level was suitable, so students could select courses that actually meet our need. Other open courses and business courses were also professional and interesting. I have to admit that it has been a while for me to enjoy learning like I did at Waseda; the contents of lectures were substantial, and the teaching style was various. Each class provided a different learning experience.
Other then that, I have to say that my favorite part of the exchange program was being able to meet all kinds of people. Staffs from the School of Commerce were very supportive and friendly, professors were open-minded, and students were bright and diverse. I was able to establish friendship with students in many of the classes I took, so it created deeper meanings for me. By making friends with students coming from different countries, we were able to exchange our culture and opinions. During discussions, we were able to see things in more angles and understand one another in a considerate and respect way.
Other then my school life, I also enjoyed traveling around during my stay. I spent most of my time exploring Tokyo, from popular tourist spots, to little alleys hidden in the city. I tried to visit places that are famous among the local residents (famous Taiyaki, Kaitensushi, etc.) so I get to know their lives in a closer way. By visiting local families and participating in local events (Matsuri), I was able to experience the culture in a more subjectively. It is no longer like watching the Discovery Channel, but watching it live.
I also traveled to further places like Kansai, and areas around Tokyo (Yokohama, Odawara, Kamakura, etc). By visiting other places, I get to compare the differences among the Japanese culture, and know more about their history. By seeing ancient temples and Jinja, I can connect the dots together and form a clearer picture. From understanding more about the past, I get to blend more in the present.
But I have to say, although the stay was wonderful, but it still took me some time to completely blend in. After all, we still have different culture and language barriers between us. However, by keeping an open mindset, I was able to overcome it, and enjoy myself. Observing the Japanese society and learn their strong point, really gave me an invaluable experience.
To conclude, the overall experience at Waseda was nothing but wonderful; and it created a bond between us. But the story is not finished yet; it’s just a beginning. By sharing my stories with others, I hope to attract more people to experience themselves. I sincerely hope that in the future I get to involve with the country or Waseda in more ways, and continue the chapters.