2021/03/31 Ryukoku University
To students thinking about studying at Ryukoku
Today we introduce to you our second interview with an exchange student. For this episode we interviewed Ms. Huang, who transferred into the third year of Ryukoku University’s Faculty of Policy Science in 2021. We hope you will read this interview if you are considering applying to study at Ryukoku!
Q. How did you hear about Ryukoku University?
A. I had been studying Japanese at Shenyang University in China and it was one of my teachers at that time that taught me about Ryukoku University. I found out that my university and Ryukoku had an agreement that allowed students to transfer into an undergraduate program in their third year.
I am very interested in the environment and wanted to study more into that field in Japan, and Ryukoku was a university that would allow me to study this in Japanese. This is the main reason I chose Ryukoku’s Faculty of Policy Science to study abroad at. However, even though I had been studying Japanese in China I wasn’t confident in my speaking ability, so I chose to study for a year in the Japanese Culture and Language Program first.
Q. What did you have to do to prepare leading up to the examination?
A. Because speaking had been my weak point while studying Japanese in China I started to really try and use as much Japanese with my teachers during class as possible. And of course I started asking a lot more questions. I also started taking lessons with a native Japanese teacher once or twice a week. I put a lot of time and effort into my studies both in class and reviewing everyday.
Q. Did the admissions process go smoothly?
A. Because it was my first time applying to study abroad I didn’t really know what I was doing. But, after contacting Ryukoku University I was able to make contact in Chinese with an administrative staff member at the Center for the Promotion of Global Education. I contacted them on several occasions and always received very thorough emails that answered all my queries. The whole process really did go quite smoothly.
Q. I imagine that having that kind of support available must make it a lot less stressful for students. So tell us, what was one of the most exciting things that happened after actually arriving in Japan?
A. Without a doubt, the most exciting thing was travelling down to Okinawa with some of my university friends during the summer vacation. Seven of us went to Ishigaki Island, a remote island situated south of the main Okinawa Island. I am from the land-locked city of Sichuan in China and I had never seen the sea before! The seas of Okinawa were the first I had seen in my life.
Q. What a fantastic memory to have! Did you go with your friends on the JCLP program?
A. No, I actually went with university seniors from other undergraduate faculties, and not students on the JCLP program. I had been talking with some university staff and they heard me speak Chinese and asked if I was from China too. We realized that we lived in the same student dormitory and became friends straight away!
Q. It’s great the university provides an environment in which you can quickly become friends with people from other departments! Changing topics, are there any teachers or courses that you are particularly fond of or enjoyed?
A. Absolutely. First of all, all the teachers in the JCLP program have been so kind and understanding. The classes were never boring and varied all the time. It really made learning fun.
There is also one more teacher. A teacher from the Faculty of Policy Science. Before I took the exam to be transferred into the Faculty of Policy Science I contacted the faculty to ask about what kind of preparation and study I should do. The faculty introduced me to this teacher and from then on they gave me study advice once or twice a week! This particular teacher was strict, but was also kinder than I could have imagined. This teacher is also from China and even though they can speak Chinese our consultations were only ever conducted in Japanese. It is because of this teacher that I was accepted into the Faculty of Policy Science.
Q. That’s wonderful! It sounds like you put in a lot of hard work to pass. Next, I would like to ask you about the student dormitory you are living in.
A. I am currently living in the Omiya dormitory. If I could, I’d recommend it for students coming to Ryukoku because it is both cheap and spacious. Due to its very convenient location in Kyoto city it is only a handy bike-ride away to places like supermarkets. There is also a park close by and students can use it to go walking or for other exercise. Unfortunately, the Omiya dormitory is closing in March so I will be moving to another dormitory. Coming to Japan and trying to find a room or apartment on your own is very difficult and I highly recommend the dormitory life.
Q. Dormitory life sounds like fun! What are your plans after graduating from Ryukoku University?
A. I want to continue studying about environmental issues as a post-graduate student at here.
Q. Have you immersed yourself in any other activities besides your studies?
A. Due to the corona virus we haven’t been able to participate in the usual activities, but I did participate in various gatherings and events that students planned so that we could have the opportunity to speak Japanese. They were really good and if you registered you received emails about any upcoming events.
Q. Thank you so much! Finally, is there any message you would like to give to students thinking about coming to Ryukoku to study?
A. If you are entering the JCLP program, participate in classes earnestly and actively to get the best results. Some people say that students should get part-time jobs but I personally think you should put your academic studies ahead of trying to get a part-time job. I think it is better to spend time reviewing your classwork thoroughly and getting used to everyday life in Japan.
Finally, Ryukoku University is located in one of Japan’s most famous tourist cities, so take advantage of this and go out and see the various sights. Kyoto truly is a fantastic city.
Well, that was our interview with Ms. Huang, who completed the 2020 JCLP program.
We hope it was useful for those of you thinking about studying abroad.
We look forward to seeing you at Ryukoku University!