Studying in Japan/Japanese
Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) Studying in Japan : My Story “Ever since I lost two of my childhood friends to cancer, it has been my dream to find a best cancer treatment.”日本で学ぶ・日本を学ぶ vol.15
シリーズ15人目は、東京工業大学 環境社会理工学院 融合理工学系で学ぶ、インドネシア出身のリザ・リナザルさんです。
Name: Mr. Ryza Rynazal（リザ・リナザル）
“Ever since I lost two of my childhood friends to cancer, it has been my dream to find a best cancer treatment.”
Currently studying at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering.
-Primary School: SDN 1 Raharja (West Java, Indonesia)
-Junior High School: SMPN 1 Banjar (West Java, Indonesia)
-High School: Pribadi Bilingual Boarding School Bandung (West Java, Indonesia)
Q. Please tell us about your study at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech).
Currently, I study at the Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering at Tokyo Tech. As the name implies, I learn many fields of science and technology in this department. During the first two years, I learned basic science, and in the second and third year, I will learn basic engineering such as basic chemical engineering, nuclear engineering, biological engineering etc. I will then choose a specific field to pursue when I join a research laboratory in the senior year.
Ever since I lost two of my childhood friends to cancer, it has been my dream to find the best cancer medication and treatment with the minimum risks. With this goal in mind, I hope to join the research lab with the focus on molecular biology, particularly in cancer therapy. The method used for the research in this lab is strongly related to biology, nuclear and chemical engineering. Hence, studying in this department benefits me to build the foundations for my future research. Hopefully I can continue on to do the post-graduate program to do further research after this degree program.
Q. What is your impression of universities and the students in Japan?
In my view, universities in Japan are very supportive of researches. Science and technology researches are thriving with good facilities and very competent professors in each field. As for Japanese students, I feel they are very smart, and I am always impressed especially with their high abilities in mathematics.
On the other hand, Japanese students tend to be rather quiet and often hesitate to ask questions during the class. I noticed a few would ask the teacher individually only after the class, but I feel it would be better if they asked questions during the class so that the other students could benefit from such questions and answers.
Q. What is your life like in Japan?
On weekdays, I usually have classes all day followed by some group work and presentations with my classmates. Apart from study, I participate in a weekly practice with the Angklung Club, formed by Indonesian students in my university. Angklung is a traditional musical instrument from Indonesia, and I enjoy every opportunity to perform in university festivals as well as external events. I also have an arubaito (part-time job) in a Singaporean restaurant once a week, where I wash the dishes and make some desserts. For me, it is a good way to practice my Japanese.
During holidays, I travel a lot and Japan is such a paradise for travelers. There are many tourist attractions across the country and traveling here is very easy. Last winter, I visited Hokkaido to witness the Sapporo Snow Festival. I was so excited because it was my first snow experience ever! I am also into photography and have been sharing the beauty of Japan, together with stories from my travels on my Instagram.
Q.Your study program is taught in English,but how is your Japanese?
Indeed, I don’t need the Japanese language to study at Tokyo Tech as all the courses I take are taught in English. I started learning Japanese because I needed it to survive in Japan. When I first came, shopping at convenient stores was even stressful. Being a Muslim, I have to be picky about food, but it was not possible to read the labels in Japanese, especially kanji. Learning kanji has helped me to know what products I can eat and now I do not have to worry too much about it.
For me, my mother tongue is Sundanese, a local language from West Java. I started learning and using Indonesian in primary school, then eventually I studied in an Indonesian and English bilingual high school, where I learned all the science subjects in English. Japanese therefore, is my fourth language, and it was the most challenging, especially memorizing the vocabularies.
In the future, I would like to conduct my research in Japan, and although many scholars are able to communicate in English, I still believe that if I could communicate in both English and Japanese, it would be very advantageous.
Q.Any message to students studying Japanese, or students who are considering to study in Japan?
My advice for Japanese learners is to try to learn how Japanese people speak casually on a daily basis because most textbooks only teach you the formal forms that are hardly used in everyday conversation.
For students who are considering to study in Japan, I would like to share with you that there are a variety of scholarship opportunities for international students in Japanese universities. The source is not only from the Japanese government but also from many private companies. I myself am one of the fortunate recipients of MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Sceience and Technology) scholarships. If financing the study in Japan is a challenge, I think it is worth trying!
東京工業大学 学長 益 一哉氏
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