Incoming Student
Oceania
2015.2.4

Arthur Yanagisawa

New Zealand/College of Arts and Sciences (PEAK)/Undergraduate Student/Hi, my name is Arthur and I was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. I am currently a first year PEAK student in the environmental sciences course. My main passion is football (so
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Introduce yourself.
Hi, my name is Arthur and I was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. I am currently a first year PEAK student in the environmental sciences course. My main passion is football (soccer) and I am currently part of the university football team. I’m living in the university dorm like most of the other PEAK students and have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Komaba, UTokyo.

Describe your transition to Komaba, UTokyo.
My transition to Komaba, UTokyo, has been extremely smooth and I am pretty much fully settled already. The university provided us with a lot of support to help us settle into daily life (setting up bank accounts, registering for health insurance, etc.) which I thought was great considering the majority of PEAK students cannot speak much Japanese. Komaba is a really nice residential neighborhood; sometimes you even forget that you are so close to Shibuya! Overall, the fact that you go through the transition with all of your classmates makes the experience exciting and you really get to know everyone better and develop friendships.

Describe the friendships and connections you’ve made at Komaba, UTokyo.
All of my classmates are from so many different countries from all around the world! It is really interesting talking about each other’s cultures and finding differences/similarities. Through groups such as TGIF and International Center Komaba Office events you also get to meet a lot of domestic students and exchange opinions with them or just chat. Also through the football club I have made a lot of new friends and it’s always interesting being around my teammates. They teach me a lot about current Japanese pop culture and celebrities, which has also helped my Japanese improve a lot. On the other hand I also teach some of them English and try to explain that sheep don’t just walk around the streets in New Zealand!

What’s your favorite thing about Shibuya and Tokyo?
One of the best things about the dorm and the campus is that it is only two stops by train or a 15-minute walk to Shibuya. You can pretty much call Shibuya our hang out spot because it is so easily accessible. We have already done numerous midnight karaoke sessions as well as frequent dinners out. Shibuya is also really convenient transport-wise because it has a lot of different lines running through it, so it is really easy to go anywhere in Tokyo. There are so many things to do and places to go in Tokyo that you will never get bored.

Any stories you would like to share?
Overall, reflecting on my first two months here, I can say that the university and university life have lived up to all of my expectations. Seeing as the first two years follow a liberal arts curriculum, I am currently studying a broad range of subjects and have the opportunity to study subjects I didn’t get the chance to study in high school. Although the lectures are challenging, I have found them enjoyable and interesting. There are plenty of opportunities to interact and socialize with domestic students through organized circles or you can even take lectures in Japanese aimed at April-entry students.
Overall, reflecting on my first two months here, I can say that the university and university life have lived up to all of my expectations. Seeing as the first two years follow a liberal arts curriculum, I am currently studying a broad range of subjects and have the opportunity to study subjects I didn’t get the chance to study in high school. Although the lectures are challenging, I have found them enjoyable and interesting. There are plenty of opportunities to interact and socialize with domestic students through organized circles or you can even take lectures in Japanese aimed at April-entry students.

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