Studying in Japan/Japanese
International Christian University (ICU) “At ICU, I can always feel inclusiveness and diversity.” 日本で学ぶ・日本を学ぶ vol.19
Name: Ms. WU Yuqing
“At ICU, I can always feel inclusiveness and diversity.”
Currently studying at the College of Liberal Arts, International Christian University (ICU), majoring in History, minoring in Media, Communication and Culture
Suzhou Wujiang Lili Primary School, China
Suzhou High School-SIP, China
Overseas Family School, Singapore
Q. What made you apply to a university in Japan?
One of the reasons why I chose to study in Japan is because I like Asian culture very much, and I am a big fan of Japanese animation and games; Japan is a very special country to me. My father also likes Japanese culture and often travels to Japan. Perhaps my childhood family environment grew my interest in Japanese culture.
After completing the IB Program, I came to Japan for university. Since I am Chinese and am very interested in Asian history, I decided to research the history of communication between Japan and China, focusing on ancient times.
Having knowledge of historical documents and cultural transmission is very important to me. I thought learning Japanese would allow me to understand more first-hand information about Japanese history and a new culture.
Q. How did you study Japanese?
During the summer vacation, I taught myself some basic Japanese. ICU has a course called JLP (Japanese Language Program), a compulsory course for non-native speakers. Through seven semesters of studying Japanese, I can now read Japanese historical materials, do presentations in Japanese, and understand lectures in Japanese. Moreover, I think the living environment and efforts are essential when learning a new language. Thus, active discussion with native speakers is also a great way to enhance my Japanese.
I am not a very confident person, so I am usually worried about my grammar and pronunciation not being standard, saying the wrong sentences, or being nervous during the presentation. However, every time I successfully finish a presentation or chat naturally with my friends, I feel a sense of achievement. Therefore, I think the difficult part always needs more practice and confidence to overcome.
Q. What is your life like in Japan?
Before I came to Japan, most of my impressions of Japan were from animation and TV dramas. Moreover, when I came to Japan, I found out that there are delicious food and special cultural activities. In addition, I discovered that Japan is a law-abiding country with good facilities and services for the elderly and the disabled. I feel that Japan is a country that will take care of everyone.
At ICU, I can always feel inclusiveness and diversity. Before coming to Japan, I was worried that my college life would be difficult as I could not speak Japanese. However, since ICU is an international university, most Japanese students can also speak English. They have helped me a lot in my life and study. What surprised me most was that ICU students are willing to express their opinions. I had a stereotype that most Japanese students would not speak out, following an unspoken rule. However, my classmates are critical thinkers and have unique ideas about everything, making it easier to get along with them.
I chose to study my current major based on my interests. I think learning the historical background of various countries or the history of communication among countries is one way to listen to cultural communication and exchange. In fact, I chose to focus on the history of communication between Japan and China because I wanted to get rid of some stereotypes and understand the original appearance of history through my research. At the same time, I minor in Media, Communication, and Culture, because I hope to make more people in the world like and understand history.
Q. What is your future plan?
I do not have a specific company or business I would like to be engaged in. My dream is to let more people know and be interested in history through my efforts. Therefore, my future plan may be to continue studying history and become a teacher or produce a history-related TV program to spread culture and help reduce prejudice and objective understanding of history.
Q. Any message to students considering to study in Japan?
In learning Japanese, I think the most important thing is communicating with people, maintaining self-confidence, and not being afraid of making mistakes. As long as you work hard, you will get good results. At the same time, if you want to go to a new country, it is also important to learn more about the local culture in advance, because language and culture are unique symbols of each country.
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