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Student Colum

写真  Camille Sogno,
 majoring in International Management at
 Universite Jean Moulin - Lyon 3

To you, future NUPACE students.
If you are joining this programme, you will meet people, beautiful people carrying different backgrounds; Japanese of course, but also Americans, Australians, Italians, Moldavian and Vietnamese. Sports people, artists, grumpy faces, happy faces, party people, study people and so on. Everyone came here with different goals. But somehow, we all became friends. Together we shared this amazing experience and shared our respective cultures.
I did not only learn Japanese, I also learned curse words and songs in German, Swedish and Korean. Besides Japanese food, I had a taste at Thai, Indonesian and Mongolian specialties. Being NUPACE students gave us the opportunity to discover Japan through each other's eyes, and to discover the culture of the people sharing this experience with us, through little everyday things.
Of course, going alone to a country with such a unique culture is a shock. Sometimes you feel alone and you will miss the atmosphere back at home. But you will become even more independent. Constantly dealing with cultural differences will change your way of thinking and you will learn to adapt. And who knows, maybe even after getting back home you will keep waiting at the red traffic light even on small roads with cars nowhere to be seen.
Being an exchange student is not only about going off to explore a country and the world. It is also about going off to discover yourself.

写真  Tran Hai Dang,
 majoring in International Economics at
 the Foreign Trade University in Vietnam

I still remember the drizzle suddenly falling when I was waiting for a taxi outside Chubu Airport after my flight. The unexpected cold constantly sent chills down my spine, and I couldn't help but think, “Ok, it's gonna be a very fun year” in the most sarcastic way. I was right. If I had to choose one word to describe Nagoya, I would say “magnificent”. Everything there was exotic. The landscape, the buildings, streets without names.. Even the daily sunrise and sunset can give you an epic feeling of which you'll never get tired. I loved walking to school every day from Ohmeikan, breathing the fresh morning air and talking with my friends about our journeys. Nagoya is very special, because it's located in the heart of Japan. From Nagoya, you can easily reach other big cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, . and in Nagoya, you can enjoy the cultural transition between Kanto and Kansai. A year living in Nagoya is a marvellous journey itself, in which I had chance to meet great people. I miss my Japanese sensei, who were always so kind and gentle to us that I hardly skipped any homework or classes, for fear of making them disappointed. I miss the multicultural atmosphere in my major classes, where I could learn many intriguing things from my classmates about the world that hadn't been written in any books. I miss the Japanese students on my floor, who could barely speak English but managed to give me a sense of belonging with their hospitality. And, I miss every time we, NUPACE students, gathered in Ohmeikan's lobby at night, playing games and making jokes. I tried to enjoy it to the fullest, because I knew that only a few months after, we'd never be together again. Sometimes, I still think about the night before I left Japan, I was lying alone on the lawn in front of Nagoya University, recalling every beautiful moment I had in Nagoya and wondering if I'd ever live that again. It's no exaggeration to say Nagoya is keeping some of the best memories of my student life. And I always feel grateful about that. I hope you'll trust it with yours.

写真  Kholid Samthohana,
 majoring in Civil Engineering at
 Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia

I came to Japan in autumn 2015. My life in Japan was awesome. I met a lot of new friends, especially from Japan and other countries. By interacting with people from different backgrounds, it opened my mind that we are very diverse, and should understand each other. Japan also boosted my language ability because I was “forced” to speak Japanese. I like living in Japan because everything was convenient. I could go anywhere by public transportation, which is commonly used by people. There are so many places to visit, including the temples, castles, parks, festivals, etc. I could also travel to other cities in Japan with ease. I went to Hokkaido to see the snow festival, since it only snowed once or twice in Nagoya. Although I was freezing there, I enjoyed it so much.
The best moment was when I taught English to some Japanese children with my friends. It was very challenging because Japanese people can generally only speak a little English, especially children. They are also a little bit shy when it comes to meeting foreigners and communicating in English. We introduced English by playing some games to entertain the children. On the last day of the teaching course, I received a gift card drawn by the children to express their thanks to us. It was so sweet and fun! You should come to Japan and feel the interesting things yourself!

写真  Nurshod Bakhromov,
 majoring in International Relations at
 the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Uzbekistan

Spending only one semester in Nagoya University created opportunities to discover a lot. NUPACE helped me to make many friends not only at Nagoya University, but also from Nanzan University and Kinjo University. My Japanese friends, who always suggested what special foods to taste and places to visit in other cities, invited me to restaurants and helped me with my Japanese; I much appreciate their kindness and assistance.
Studying with lots of students from different cultural backgrounds motivated me to learn more, and was exciting at the same time. Japanese professors were always ready to give suggestions and coordination. I enjoyed Japanese intensive classes so much that now I know a lot of kanji and I can read newspapers and manga without much trouble.
A one-night-homestay with a family in Nishio-shi was another big experience. Communication with my host family proved so interesting that even after the homestay program, they invited me to a Japanese traditional wedding, museums, bowling clubs, and even visited International Ohmeikan dormitory to celebrate my birthday! Even now, they message me and send photos of the family.
During this exchange program, I felt a real balance between academic life and extracurricular activities. And special thanks to students in International Ohmeikan, because they made my whole stay impressive and unforgettable.

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