Intercultural Communication Center (ICC)Waseda University


ICC Student Staff Graduation Report: A home away from home

Graduate School of International Culture and Communication Studies
ICC Student Staff Leader:
December 2013 – July 2019

When I arrived at Waseda back in 2013, I was somewhat lost. I had just started being a research student at the graduate school of law, I was stressed over improving my Japanese so I could brave the challenging graduate lessons and materials I had to study. I was also overwhelmed with living alone, away from all of my family and friends, and having to provide for myself long term.

It was then, when I was looking for a path to follow, that I found the ICC. One of the friends from my dorm introduced it to me, and I knew that I had to try out for the job. Even after failing my first application, I didn’t want to give up and applied again as soon as I could. The second time, I finally got hired as a student staff and started my ICC journey.

That was December 2013, and after that I went on to spend amazing 6 years at the office. In addition to learning how to work in a Japanese office environment, I was able to make events related to my home country Brazil and to many other topics I am interested in, such as manga, K-pop and gender equality. I could also be part of my coworkers incredibly varied events, and supporting them from the planning stage to the actual execution. Seeing their accomplishments, especially after successfully completing their first projects, always made me feel extremely proud.

However, to me the most memorable thing about this job was being able to help other students and to create a safe place where they could challenge themselves, step out of their comfort zone and expand their views of the world. Every time a new person stepped into our lounge, I wanted to make them feel like they could count on us to make their student life rich and interesting, and to grow as a person by understanding and interacting with others. Through this cultural exchange, I hoped every single participant would think that it was worth listening and talking to new people, and understanding each other’s differences. And every time I heard a “thank you” from an event participant, I was incredibly happy to have played even a small positive part in that person’s life.

Working at the ICC was not just a simple part-time job. Of course, it was a great way of training for the future, since I intend to find work in Japan after I graduate and thus working with many Japanese people and learning about their work culture allowed me to be better prepared for when I join society as a full-time worker. However, to me the ICC was more than that. It was like having a family in Japan, with people I could always count on. It was also a way of finding myself, as because of my ICC experience I decided that I wanted to work as a university staff member after my PhD. I hope that from now on I can take everything I experienced as an ICC student staff and use it to keep helping other students find themselves too.

If you’re thinking about applying to work at the ICC, it’s obvious that I recommend it! And even if you don’t become a staff member here, please always keep challenging yourself and experiencing new things. You never know where you will find yourself!


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