Studying in Japan/Japanese
Kyoto University of Advanced Science “ If you’ re hesitating because you’ re scared, go for it anyway. Not everyone gets the opportunity to even make a choice, might as well take it.” 日本で学ぶ・日本を学ぶ vol.20
シリーズ第20回目は、京都先端科学大学で学ぶフィリピン出身のダフニ・ ジリアン ・ガン・タンさんです。
Name: Daphne Jillian Gan Tan
“If you’ re hesitating because you’ re scared, go for it anyway. Not everyone gets the opportunity to even make a choice, might as well take it.”
Currently studying at Kyoto University of Advanced Science, Department of Mechanical and Electrical Systems Engineering.
Primary School : Quezon City Christian Academy, The Philippines
Secondary School : Multiple Intelligence International School (STEM Strand), The Philippines
Q. What made you apply to a university in Japan?
Japan is well-known internationally for their technologically innovative advancements. Access to economical, efficient, and effective healthcare is nearly unheard of in the Philippines. People suffering from illnesses often must seek out medical care from overseas. But then again, this is an option only available to those who was financially well-off. I typically dislike people saying cliché, righteous things, but I do sincerely believe in people having a “greater purpose” in life. Sincerely, I want to make this mine. Having seen countless people suffer from horrible illnesses and having to struggle finding finances to make it through the month.
Being able to foster holistic development in a community outside my safe space̶in this case, the comfort of my parents’ house̶is an opportunity that will ultimately push for positive change in both my personal life and my home community when I get back. It is an opportunity my parents worked hard for me to be able to have. Despite financial struggles in my early childhood, my parents pushed themselves out of their own “safe space” to give me opportunities they never even knew existed in their time.
Q. Please tell us about your study at KUAS.
My faculty mainly stays within the KUAS’ Uzumasa campus. Having face-to-face classes on campus is definitely an enjoyable experience as school grounds are very pleasing to the eyes. We are allowed to ask the professors questions and they are always open to help when we ask for it after classes. The assistant professors every so often teaches a class and are very open to feedback for improvement. The international professors are happy, witty, and approachable individuals. When I was seriously sick for approximately 2 weeks, the professors were more than accommodating to help me catch up with the work I missed during this period of time.
As an international student at KUAS, the officers are some of the most friendly, eager to help people I have ever met in my life. My classmates and I have asked about everything from “Where do I buy an adapter?” to “How do I apply for a Japanese Bank Account?” and they have been nothing less than pleasant regardless of how annoying we may be. The school has open-mindedly made adjustments according to suggestions and feedback from the international students.
Developing relationships with the local students is no issue either. Though most struggle with English, they do their very best to p ut in effort to talk to the international students. I do have to admit that the language barrier is frustrating sometimes, but it is fun nonetheless talking about our differences and similarities culturally. Making friends with the international students is no issue at all as everyone I have interacted with have been great.
Q. What is your life like in Japan?
Life in Japan has been quite the rollercoaster ride. There are boring days, frustrating days, stressful days, exciting days, and fun days. Getting used to the mundane lifestyle here was quite the adjustment as I was quite spoiled back at home. Waking up, preparing for school, half a day at school, getting home, and having to do chores was the biggest culture shock for me. Here, you must take charge of your own happiness. You must actively make plans, look for new places to go to create opportunities to have fun. I assigned Fridays after school to do all my house chores, laundry, and throwing out trash (we were lucky enough to have an apartment trash system that isn’t time-bound). Afterwards, I usually go to Shijo to chill by Kamogawa River with my friends and talk about life, play around, and befriend strangers. Every so often, we go out to find new places to eat.
Q. What are your future plans after graduating from KUAS?
To be frank, I would like to keep my mind completely open to all opportunities that may come along. For now, I want to go into biotechnology in the medical field, but this is also subject to change. The only solid plan I have in my head is I want to buy my parents a nice house they can spend their retirement in.
Q. Message to students who are considering studying in Japan.
A quick tip from someone who has been living in Japan for several months is to establish a like-minded friend group because it is true that it gets lonely here. There will definitely be days when you finish class and dread going home to be alone in your room. It takes time for some people. For me it took a little over a week to find people who I genuinely enjoyed being around. These people have been my constants that I have dragged around to act as touristy as possible throughout my entire stay in Japan.
If you’re hesitating because of something like “Oh I can’ t live on my own”, go for the dormitories! All my friends stay in the dormitories and have developed unquestionable bonds with those they live with. Everyone is always down to help, answer a question, and even go with you to run errands. If you’re hesitating because you’re scared, go for it anyway. Not everyone gets the opportunity to even make a choice, might as well take it.
Visit our website to read about other students studying in University of Tokyo, Nagoya University, ICU and more!
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