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Message from international students

Home > Campus life > Message from international students

M. FATIH RIDHO from Indonesia

School of International Relations
Being able to go to school in Japan was my dream since I was kid. When I was a kid, I really liked watching Japanese animation and since then I started to become interested in Japanese culture. When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to study Japanese Language and also their Culture. How Japanese people value time and their hard work culture are things that I follow from Japanese people. By studying Japanese culture, I was moved to continue my studies at the University of Japan. Now I continue my studies at the University of Shizuoka and majored in International Relations. In the future, I hope that my knowledge will be useful to improve cooperation between Indonesia, Japan and also other countries.

WOO WEI JIE from Malaysia

School of International Relations
To my fellow Malaysian juniors (or whoever reading this), as a Malaysian Chinese I decided to use English for this essay. Last time I wrote a Chinese essay was 10 whole years ago so please forgive me.

et's get the facts straight right away. Living in Japan can be heaven, but most of the time it feels more like hell. By that, I mean the difficulties of adjusting to Japanese culture and work life can be extremely challenging. Here are a few that I think are commonly shared by foreign students here.

One, the high currency value of Japanese Yen can be intimidating depending on your home country. Take Malaysia for example. If you are not blessed with a rather wealthy middle-upper class family, the burden of your parents giving you allowance every month can be very heavy. Most students I know work part-time and/ or on a scholarship.

Two, living in an apartment is not one bit fun. Most apartments require a guarantor, if not an emergency contact, when you first rent it. If you do not know anyone that is kind enough to help you out, a guarantee fee is required. More importantly, what has been bothering me is the noise you hear from your neighbours. Japanese people are known to be thoughtful and considerate worldwide, but the people who are not still exist.

Three, I find that Japanese, especially youngsters, are somewhat unfriendly and hard to approach. Difference in cultures and belief definitely plays a role. The reality is, the foreign students I know often have no close Japanese friends, and they end up forming a cluster of just foreign students. Realistically if you want a Japanese friend, besides being friendly you must understand their inside jokes or use their slang when you talk.

Despite all the challenges my foreign friends and I face, we chose to stay. That is because we have a "Yarigai", meaning rewarding or fulfilling, something you love to do. For me it is the pursuit of knowledge from a Japanese perspective. But it can be as simple as Anime or Japanese food. Once you have that one Yarigai, an amazing journey awaits.


with friends