Incoming Student

Bipasha Kaur Chatterjee

India/College of Arts and Sciences (PEAK)/Undergraduate Student/Hello everyone! I am second year student from New Delhi! I love learning languages, going for karaoke, drawing, reading fantasy novels, travelling, and eating either really spicy food or ve
Introduce yourself.
Hello everyone! I am second year student from New Delhi! I love learning languages, going for karaoke, drawing, reading fantasy novels, travelling, and eating either really spicy food or very sweet desserts! Since my parents speak different languages, I ended up learning 3 Indian languages as well as English, and later I started learning Japanese in middle school.

What attracted you to Komaba, UTokyo?
It has always been my dream to study in Japan, and when I found out the best university in Japan offers an undergrad degree programme taught in English, in my area of interest, I just knew I had to apply. Another secret motivation for applying to Todai was the fact that the characters from my favourite manga (Death Note) were students at Todai.

Describe your transition to Komaba, UTokyo.
Getting used to life at Komaba was initially hard because I was scared that people would not like me and I did not have many friends. But once I started opening up to people around me, I realised how wonderful everyone was, and how I had been scared for nothing. I made lots of friends and as I did so my life became so much happier! Right now, I love every single day of my life here!

Describe the adjustment to Japanese culture.
Getting used to Japanese culture was not very hard for me because a lot of things are very similar to Indian culture, for example, taking off your shoes before entering a room. The one thing that I did take time to adjust to was the food because I had been living with very spicy food all my life and suddenly changing to Japanese food was very hard. But I learnt how to appreciate certain Japanese dishes like Okonomiyaki, and things got much better!

What have been your best experiences at Komaba, UTokyo so far?
My best experience at Komaba so far is something odd. My all-night study sessions with my friends. Although they were extremely nervewrecking at that time, when I look back at them I feel like without my friends’ support I would not have survived the exam period. It became a memory I cherish.

Describe the friendships and connections you’ve made at Komaba, UTokyo.
The friends I have made in PEAK are probably closer to me than even my high school friends. Since we all come from different backgrounds, no one judges anyone, and it has really taught us how to respect all cultures. Also, it has been so much fun to pick up random words from various languages and make jokes about them!

What’s your favorite thing about Shibuya and Tokyo?
My favorite thing about Shibuya would be drinking coffee in a café while looking at the Shibuya crossing. Tokyo Tower would definitely have to be my favorite spot in Tokyo. It’s just so romantic no matter when you visit.

How did you prepare for your journey to Komaba, UTokyo?
I studied a lot obviously, but aside from that I participated in a lot of coscholastic and volunteer activities as well. I was part of the music club and the student council and took part in various international exchange programmes.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new international student or researcher, what would it be?
Make the most of this opportunity. Explore not only Tokyo but Japan, learn about the culture as much as you can, make lots of friends outside your programme!

Any stories you would like to share about being an international student or researcher at Komaba, UTokyo?
There are way too many stories that I would like share because I’ve made so many beautiful memories over the past one year. But I think the ones I like the most are the surprise birthday stories. We always plan surprise birthday parties for our fellow PEAKies and it’s always so much fun!


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