Why did you choose CJSP?
I was born to a Japanese mother and a Swedish father and grew up and went to school at the British International School in Phuket, Thailand. While there I discovered my interest in the Social Sciences, particularly in geography and history. My interest in the Social Sciences is what drew me to the CJSP program and my desire to re-familiarize myself with my Japanese heritage was what drew me to Japan. Another major consideration was finances. For an international student, the cost of tuition for a good university in either the U.S. or Europe was almost 3 times of what I would pay in tuition for a well-known Japanese university like Waseda University.
Your experience at CJSP
What I find unique to CJSP is its small class-size and seminar-style lectures. We can have a lot of one-on-one time with the professors and because of this the teachers really know their students and all of our strengths and weaknesses. Some argue that the program’s curriculum is too broad, but I see this as a definite plus. Before I came to this program, most of my knowledge in the social sciences was in history and geography. Now I have knowledge in technology, environmental law, political science, and a wide range of topics related to the Social Sciences. Being able to learn a bit of everything has given me a more well-rounded perspective.
However, the class that left the most impression on me was “Intercultural Communication” with Professor Yamamoto. In the class, we tackle and deconstruct the idea of identity and now I know that I do not need to designate myself to one nationality. This course and Professor Cogan’s course on “Japanese Cultural History” is what led me to my current thesis idea. I plan to analyze the concept of Japan as a unique country and Japanese identity from the perspective of half – Japanese persons. The tentative title of my thesis is “Biracial Individuals in Japan: sociocultural and identity issues that arise from ‘Nihonjinron’.”
I learned from my time in CJSP that an international and multicultural environment is more appealing to me so this is why I plan to stay in Japan and work here after I graduate from the program. After graduating from CJSP, I hope to work for a foreign company, where I believe the international knowledge and language skills I have gained from my 4 years at CJSP will be invaluable.