“The years I spent at Waseda changed my mind and gave me the courage to open new doors.”
How did you find your life in Japan?
I have not had any problems with food in Japan. There are convenience stores that are open 24-hours-a-day and I went there many times. Prices in Japan are almost the same as in South Korea, my home country, but it is very tough for foreigners when the Japanese yen is expensive. I found travel expenses were much higher than ours.
What was the most surprising thing about Japan?
When I first arrived in Japan, I was very surprised by the fashion and make-up of the students from Waseda University. Because their fashion was very unique and they were wearing false eyelashes and manicures, I thought students were doing a show every day. I was a little confused to see men check fashion books.
There are many family-owned stores in Japan and the sons and daughters carry on the tradition. This is the great Japanese culture. I found plenty of TV programs that focused on gourmet food. Many famous artists and comedians eat and rank the cuisines, which I think is very interesting.
How did you find the people you met in Japan?
Fortunately, I could make many friends from Waseda University. When I first entered the university, courage was needed to befriend new people and get accustomed to the new environment. However, the three years I spent at Waseda changed my mind and gave me courage to open new doors. This courageous effort gave me precious memories with my friends. I find it very exciting to communicate with new people, make friends and broaden my horizons.
Exchange. Among Japanese universities, Waseda University has the largest number of foreign students. Thanks to Waseda, I met many students from all over the world. The places where we were brought up were different, but our longings for Japan and interests were the same. As we could share our worries or problems, we could get along together.
I also joined a study program held by the International Community Center of Waseda University in the summer semester of my first year. Almost 300 international students attended the program and enabled me to stay with a family in Ishikawa Prefecture. This program was fascinating and I felt the experience of being in the center of the world. After I finished the program, I couldn’t forget the passion we had, and decided to join the exchange program for the University of Toronto.
While I studied at the University of Toronto, I enjoyed joining the Queen’s Conference on the Business Environment Today (the Power of Connectivity) and the Conference of Corporate Social Responsibility. These programs gave me the opportunity to learn practical-minded business. I also took part in a home stay program run by the Rotary Foundation in Orillia, a city in Ontario, Canada, and experienced Canadian winter activities and introduced my country to them. In the winter holiday, I went to Mexico with my friends and experienced Mexico’s heritage. This is a wonderful memory.
What did you study at the School of Commerce?
I chose to study mainly Marketing at Waseda University and the seminar I belonged to was Contemporary Advertising. I would like to further my study in this field and get a job that can inspire and touch people.
The School of Commerce offers business-related courses, but it also gives you the opportunity to study many courses offered by other departments. Thanks to their policy, I took a course called Introduction to International Relations that was offered by the School of International Liberal Studies. The course was conducted in English and the method was different from the School of Commerce’s courses. It stimulated my motivation to study abroad.
After finishing the program, I took a Marketing Branding course in the fall semester and found it very interesting. I also took some seminars offered by advertising company Dentsu Inc. that widened my perspectives. I am keen on trying as many new things as possible.
What is your dream?
I have lived in Japan for three years as an international student and was an exchange student in Canada for one of these three years. Through this experience, I got a flavor of what Japan is in the world and how wonderful the country is. I won’t forget the people I met and would like to build bridges for my country and Japan. I would also very much like to travel around the world.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Being in Waseda allowed me find myself in a different way than I was used to. It is very important for us to do right now what students can do. These things cannot be done after you start to work. The most important thing is to see it yourself. Even if we face difficulties or fail to succeed, your experiences will be the most valuable.