Japan/Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GPEAK)/Master’s Student/Hi, my name is Yui Fujita and I’ve just finished my Master’s degree in Global Studies through the Graduate Program on Global Society (GSP) at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of A
Hi, my name is Yui Fujita and I’ve just finished my Master’s degree in Global Studies through the Graduate Program on Global Society (GSP) at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Komaba Campus. Although I have Japanese nationality, I’ve spent most of my life in Ireland so I’d say I’m a cross between a returnee and an international student! My two years in GSP were also my first time living in Japan after spending more than a decade in Ireland.
Describe your transition to Komaba, UTokyo.
As with adjusting to any new academic institution, getting used to a different set of bureaucratic procedures, curriculum, and approach to teaching took some time. (I was also surprised by the dancers practicing around the cafeteria!) However, the administrative staff and faculty members were always ready to help whenever the need arose.
What have been your best experiences at Komaba, UTokyo, so far?
Because UTokyo has so many connections with academic institutions in other countries, I have been fortunate enough to participate in inter-university student workshops and conferences at Komaba and outside Japan. They were not only great experiences academically, but also wonderful chances to get to know students and faculty both within the University of Tokyo and from institutions abroad.
Describe the friendships and connections you have made at Komaba, UTokyo.
I can honestly say that the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made here have been one of the best aspects of my time at Komaba. I feel very lucky to have been surrounded by such lovely people, classmates, fellow-students, co-workers, and faculty members. I got through many of the most difficult times through their help and support, and I can hardly express how grateful I am that they’ve been a part of my life here.
What’s your favorite thing about Shibuya and Tokyo?
My favorite thing about Shibuya and Tokyo is that there is so much variety. So many people from all over Japan and from different countries in the world live here. And whether it’s people, things, or lifestyle, I like that there are so many differences within one city.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new international student or researcher, what would it be?
There are usually many things to get used to, and perhaps get frustrated by, when you start living in a different country for the first time You might experience a kind of ‘gap’ between you and your new surroundings. However, here at Komaba, UTokyo, and most likely in Tokyo in general, there are always people and organizations who are there to help. Information overload is a definite possibility in Japan, but if you know what you’re looking for or what you need, with a bit of effort, you’ll probably be able to find it.