Incoming Student
Asia
2015.2.2

Bryan Kuek

Singapore/College of Arts and Sciences (PEAK)/Undergraduate Student/I’m currently a third year student in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying in the PEAK Program. I’m majoring in Environmental Sciences. I come from Singapore and lived there all my
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Introduce yourself.
I’m currently a third year student in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying in the PEAK Program. I’m majoring in Environmental Sciences. I come from Singapore and lived there all my life before coming to Japan.

What attracted you to Komaba, UTokyo?
I think that Komaba is by far the most active and lively campus within the University of Tokyo. The campus is bustling with excitement from day to night and even on weekends when students come out to play. Having an active university life was one of my goals and I think that Komaba helped to satisfy that.
 
Japanese culture was not completely foreign to me, having watched some anime and read a little manga prior to coming to Japan. However, plunging head-first into a new culture in the flesh was and is a completely different experience, and learning the language, as well as learning what Japanese people do and how they behave and act takes time. I personally am still learning. But it is a worthy experience that I would recommend to anyone adventurous enough to try it.
 
While I have many friends who are international students, I believe that I have an equal number of Japanese friends, some who are more interested in learning about Singapore and other countries and others who are more than willing to teach me about Japanese culture and only speak to me in Japanese.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new international student or researcher, what would it be?
I would advise them to occasionally step out of their comfort zone and try something they would not do back in their home country. Try eating whale! Try going for Zazen! Try wearing a kimono! Taking away these experiences is what I consider to be the most important part of being a foreign student in Japan. If you want to learn Japanese, hang out with friends and people who only speak Japanese! You’d be surprised how fast you pick it up.

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