In the 2017 academic year, there were more than 7,000 international students hailing from 120 different countries and regions studying at Waseda, making the University the most internationalized in terms of the number of international students. Why do international students choose Waseda? In this five-part series, 18 students from around the world share why.
Raising awareness to different important social issues and creating a positive impact
ALKHAJA, Eman Mahmood from Bahrain
Doctoral student at the Graduate School of International Culture and Communication Studies
I have always been interested in Japan and Japanese culture since an early age. I began studying Japanese when I was 23, and at that time, I knew I wanted to continue my studies in Japan, specifically Tokyo. After discussing this with my Japanese teacher at the time, he recommended Waseda to me.
Waseda is appealing for students due to multiple reasons. Some of the most important to me are the inclusivity, diversity and opportunities. I feel that the inclusivity and diversity in Waseda have a permeating effect, not only in social life but also in academia where students are encouraged to observe things from multiple angles and challenge their own mode of production in knowledge. There is also an abundance in opportunities that allows the students to experience new things and expand their horizons, in both social and educational setting, which enriches their lives.
My research is in Media and Communications, and I think the skills that I am acquiring and the diverse environment I am learning in will most definitely contribute to a future in a global setting. I would like to be able to use the knowledge that I’ve gained and will gain to raise awareness to different important social issues and create a positive impact in the process as I move forward.
To become one of the greatest CEOs in Africa
NYAWUAME, Kossi Armstrong from Togo
Master’s degree student at the Graduate School of Economics
Considering the caliber of intellects and leaders the university has produced, studying at Waseda University is a dream come true. I am currently studying economics, and I would like to be the next on the list, following CEOs like Lee Kun-Hee, the Chairman of Samsung Group, the former President and CEO of Honda, Norio Sasaki, and the former CEO of Toshiba among others, who were all trained at Waseda University. I hope to improve my expertise in entrepreneurship to become one of the greatest CEOs in Africa.
I feel disconnected with Japanese culture because of the language barrier, but my first week upon arriving in Japan was like heaven on earth; everything was so beautiful, so new, and so different. I equally experienced the same feeling during the sakura season.
Togo, which is where I am from, is a small country in West Africa. Despite its small size, it does possess a great variety of rich cultures; notably the voodoo religion which mostly influenced the culture of the southern part of the country and stretches along the coastal part of Ghana at the west and Benin at the east.
It has the cleanest and one of the most beautiful beaches in West-Africa (the beach is nicknamed “The Golden Sand”). Also, you cannot come to Togo without visiting Kpalime (my hometown), where nature meets beauty-waterfalls, tallest mounting in Togo, the people, the food, and more.
Studying hard to be a future entrepreneur
DACOURY TABLEY, Zirignon Francois Joseph from Cote d’ivoire
MBA student at Waseda Business School (Graduate School of Business and Finance)
I have always been interested in Japan and its culture. In fact, my friend and I founded a Japanese culture club back in my home country, Cote d’ivoire, where we taught students about the little we knew about Japanese culture and traditions. After completing my undergraduate degree in the U.S, I decided to study in Japan and applied for Waseda, one of the top Japanese universities in Japan.
As I am an aspiring entrepreneur, I applied to study entrepreneurship in the MBA program offered by Waseda Business School. First of all, I really love my Zemi classes (or seminar classes). The students and professors are all very helpful. I was really surprised at how close we are to our supervisors, which is something I did not experience before. Additionally, I also enjoy my student life here at Waseda. The university organizes a lot of events that allow us to travel across the country and discover other aspects of Japan outside Tokyo.
I would want to utilize the knowledge and training I received in the MBA program at Waseda in my future profession. But more importantly, I found what I learned by living in Japan priceless. The way people live and the way they respect each other. These are my greatest takeaway.
I knew Waseda was famous, but I did not know it was that famous until I came here. Whenever I tell people I am from Waseda, they would say I smart. This is the kind of prestige that Waseda and its students receive from the public.
*The original article was published in Japanese in the August 2018 edition (No. 1230) of Waseda Gakuho, a bi-monthly magazine for alumni. All information is current as of the date of publication. This English version has been edited for clarity and length.