Graduate School of Sport SciencesWaseda University

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Interview with international students

Lorijn Metten and Jonas Ferrante are International Graduate Exchange Students from the University of Leuven, Belgium. They shared their experiences of life in Japan and at Waseda University.

Lorijn Metten

Q1. What made you decide to come to Waseda to study?
Lorijin: I wanted to go to Japan. Luckily my university had an exchange program with Waseda University.

Q2What are you currently studying at Waseda?
Lorijin : Health and exercise science

Q3. How did you find the typical class sizes?
Lorijin: I like the small class sizes (2-10 students). This gives more room for interaction and questions.

Q4. Please describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class.
Lorijin : Dissection of a mouse with professor Akimoto. This was a unique experience for me to see first-hand what animal biology looks like in vivo.

Q5. Tell us about your campus life at Waseda University.
Lorijin : The campus is a bit far away from my dorm (90 minutes travel time), but thanks to the good metro system in Japan and the Waseda buses that operate from the station, I have no problem with the travel time.
The campus itself looks really cool with a lot of nature, as well as space for sports activities.
You can also have lunch at the campus, which is really good as well. I love going there.

Q6. Was it was it difficult for you to meet people and make friends as an international student?
Lorijin : This is the easiest thing to do as an international student. Meeting other people (especially international students) at Waseda is a piece of cake.

Q7What differences do you perceive between Japanese and Belgian universities? 
Lorijin : Waseda runs on a quarterly basis (e.g. fall and winter quarter). In Belgium, we have a semester system.
My current classes give you grades on presentations, essays and class participation. In Belgium, we just have one final exam.

Q8How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, social opportunities?
Lorijin : I decided to stay at the cheapest dorm I could find, but I’m still really happy with it. My room is big with enough storage space and I have a terrace. The dining area is nice to eat in or just sit in the evening with your dorm mates and play cards. The kitchen is really big and easy to use.
There a few other international students in the dorm who I will see and sit with on a daily basis.

Q9What surprised you the most when you came to Japan?
Lorijin : Since my first day in Japan I realized that not many people could speak English, which was something I didn’t expect, but after all you will always find ways to communicate. Google translate will be your best friend during the first few weeks.

Q10. What did you gain from studying at Waseda University? 
Lorijin: The overall experience of living abroad. In other words, I gained a life experience that I’ll never forget.

Q11. What are your plans and outlook for the future?
Lorijin : I want to study rehabilitation after my current course to train athletes as a type of physical coach to ensure a great flow through rehabilitation to help them return to sport.

Jonas Ferrante

Q1. What made you decide to come to Waseda to study?
Jonas: I wanted to do an educational exchange outside of Europe and I was immediately attracted by Tokyo as a new destination provided by our University.

Q2What are you currently studying at Waseda?
Jonas: I am studying Sport Management.

Q3. How did you find the typical class sizes?
Jonas: I was very pleased with the class sizes. The small size gives me the opportunity to discuss and share ideas with a variety of people from different countries.

Q4. Please describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class.
Jonas: After our last class on “Sports in Society”, we went to eat as a group in a traditional Japanese ramen restaurant. I really enjoyed doing something with my classmates outside of the classes.

Q5. Tell us about your campus life at Waseda University.
Jonas: I enjoy my student life at Waseda University very much. I joined a circle (student club) and that was a really good decision because I made a lot of friends there.

Q6. Was it difficult for you to meet people and make friends as an international student?
Jonas: I did not have a lot of trouble making friends here. I have a lot of contact with dorm mates and people I met in the circle (student club). I think circles are the best place to meet a lot of new people.

Q7What differences do you perceive between Japanese and Belgian universities?
Jonas: The educational system is very different. At Waseda, the lectures are more interactive than in Belgium. Also the way to evaluate your knowledge is done in a different way. Another difference is the way circles are organized and the access to sports.

Q8How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, social opportunities?
Jonas: My dorm is a little bit far from the city of Tokyo, but really close to my campus, so the location for me was good. I think the dorm room provides everything you need. The dorm is really clean and has all the facilities you need. I do not have dining options because I prefer to cook by myself.

Q9What surprised you the most when you came to Japan?
Jonas: I think I have to say how crowded places are, especially how crowded the trains can be. Apart from that I’ve only be surprised in a positive way.

Q10. What did you gain from studying at Waseda University?
Jonas: I gained a lot of new knowledge about the sport industry in different countries. Apart from that, I gained a lot of global knowledge by speaking to people from across the world.

Q11. What are your plans and outlook for the future?
Jonas: First I want to finish my master’s program in Belgium. After that, I want to travel and find a nice job. But no matter what visiting Japan again is definitely on my list!

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