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Messages from International Students

We asked international students at the University of Toyama to tell us about their life here and what made them study abroad. 

Faculty of Humanities
(Prefecture-sponsored international student)

My hometown of Vladivostok has a Treaty of Friendship with Toyama Prefecture and every year a student is sent to study at a university in Toyama Prefecture. I was selected last year and came to the University of Toyama in April.
Students at Russian universities cannot choose their classes. I was really delighted to be able to select my own classes at the University of Toyama. I have studied many things this year, including Japanese history and human rights issues.
This is the first time that I have been to Japan. Food in Toyama is really delicious and there is nothing that I cannot eat. The most delicious food I have eaten here is Toyama sushi. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Faculty of Humanities

Recommendations from my seniors and friends were what made me come to study at the University of Toyama. I chose the Faculty of Humanities because I an interested in the contrast between Japanese and Chinese culture. I am currently studying lexical interchanges between Chinese and Japanese.
With the Sea of Japan and the Tateyama mountains, Toyama is an area blessed with nature's bounty. The water, fish and rice are all delicious and rents are lower than in big cities, so I think that it is a very comfortable place for international students to live. The campus is nice too and there is a relaxed atmosphere. I think that, as a national university, there is a good set-up for international students. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Graduate School of Humanities

I became interested in Japanese culture when I studied the Japanese language at Inner Mongolia University. My teacher there gave me information about several Japanese universities. I selected the University of Toyama because I was very attracted by Professor Tachikawa's research on horseracing.
At the University of Toyama my turn to make a presentation comes round every week. This involves looking up unfamiliar words, drawing up a summary and giving an explanation. It was really difficult. However, I really learned a lot from it.
The main focus of my research is government plans in modern history for the breeding of horses. I am looking at Nagano Prefecture as an example of how existing Japanese horses were made more suitable for warfare.
I would like to go on to a PhD after completing my Masters as I want to continue this research. In the future I hope to make good use of all my studies and experiences to become a Japanese language teacher in my home country. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Faculty of Human Development, government-sponsored foreign student (teacher training)

I was an elementary school teacher in Morocco. I came to the University of Toyama as an international student because MEXT assigned me to Professor Yamanishi's classroom. I have received various kinds of support and am glad that I came here. I am currently studying about teaching materials that utilize IT. I expect to work for the Board of Education when I go back to Morocco.
I have now been in Toyama for 16 months. It was tough at first but I've settled in now. I enjoy living in Toyama. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Faculty of Economics

I studied Japanese in Tokyo for two years but wanted to concentrate on my university studies in a more relaxed environment. I chose the University of Toyama because it was recommended to me by a teacher at my Japanese-language school.
The teachers at the University of Toyama are very kind. Even when they're busy they give unhurried and clear answers to my questions, so I think that there need be no worries about studying here. At the moment I'm mainly studying business administration and economics. To be more specific, I'm studying corporate investment and management activities.
Toyama is very quiet in comparison to Tokyo and I think it's a good place to study. I've got used to living here and even when it snows I can now cycle to my part-time job or school. I think that I have gained confidence and mental strength. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Faculty of Economics

I looked at various universities but chose the University of Toyama because it had the specialization I wanted. My strongest impression of the University of Toyama is the kindness of its teachers. I was anxious about many things before I entered university but as soon as I started here the teachers gave me lots of advice and eased my mind.
Toyama is very beautiful. The natural environment is good and the air is clean. In particular, I have started to eat fish since I came to Toyama. I think fish is really tasty.
I want to work in the hotel business in the future. I would like to work for a top-class Japanese hotel. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Graduate School of Economics

I studied Japanese at Northeastern University in Shenyang, China. After graduating I joined an American company and worked in a division supporting the Japanese market. There I became interested in logistics. I got to know Professor Li, who does research on logistics at the University of Toyama, and decided to study here. I am currently doing research on the logistics of medical supplies.
Although I'm Chinese I am rather fond of sashimi. I'm really happy because Toyama is near the sea and I can eat many kinds of fresh and delicious fish.
Since I have studied in Japan I would like to find work in Japan. I am still studying as a first year postgraduate, but if I can successfully continue to a higher level and get good research results, I would like to teach economics at a Japanese university in the future. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Faculty of Science

I studied botany at university in Vietnam and after I had graduated I wanted to study more about genetics. I wanted to come to Japan because the study of genetics here is advanced and has a long history. I came to the University of Toyama upon the advice of my elder brother, who studied here for six years.
I lived at home from elementary school to university and this is the first time that I have been away from my family. I was very worried to begin with but everyone has been very helpful and I am enjoying life here. Everyone in Toyama is kind and the food is delicious and inexpensive. It is a very comfortable place to live.
I am currently studying biology, and am focusing in particular on the sesame plant. I would like to continue with further study of genetics. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Graduate School of Science and Engineering for Education, Ph.D. Program

Underground water in Nepal is contaminated and drinking water is corrosive. I wanted to do environmental research and when I looked on the Internet I found that the University of Toyama does advanced research on underground water, spring water and deep-sea water, so I came here. I can do research at the University of Toyama using equipment that is rare in Nepal or India.
I really enjoy living in Toyama. There is lots of yummy food here. I think that the water may well be the most delicious in Japan.
In the future, I want to exploit the techniques I have learned and continue with my research to make drinking water even a little cleaner for the people of Nepal. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences for Education

After graduating from high school in China I studied medicine at a university in the Ukraine, where I became very interested in regenerative medicine. I found out from the Internet that regenerative medicine is advanced in Japan, and that the regenerative medicine course to which I am currently affiliated does research on tissue engineering using human amniotic membranes. I immediately contacted Professor Nikaido and asked to be accepted as an overseas student. I have liked Japan ever since I was a small child. I am so very happy to be able to do research in Japan.
I will return to China after completing my studies in Japan. I want to continue with my current research so I want to stay in contact via the Internet and so on, and to do collaborative research on tissue engineering. By continuing with my research I want to make a contribution to tissue engineering In Japan as well as China. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

I was looking for a university with a Faculty of Pharmacy while studying Japanese in Tokyo. I decided to study at the University of Toyama because its Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, with its long history and well-established traditions, is very famous.
At the University of Toyama research into traditional Chinese medicine is flourishing, and I think that it is very unusual in that we can study these traditional pharmaceutics from our first year here. I am now in the second year and am studying Japanese Kampo-pharmaceutics, as well as basic pharmaceutical knowledge, namely organic chemistry and other kinds of chemistry.
The cost of living is of prime importance for international students, and I think that Toyama is a good place to live as apartments and food are inexpensive, and the food here is delicious.
In the future I want to contribute to the development of Nepal using the pharmaceutical knowledge I have gained in Japan. I want to act as a bridge between Japan and Nepal. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences for Education,
Ph.D. Program

I was originally interested in cancer. My teacher in Korea was acquainted with Professor Saiki, my mentor here, which is what brought me to study at the University of Toyama. I am now doing research on signalling in inflammation and cancer.
I was worried that the Japanese might be highly individualistic but when I came here I found that was not in fact the case. I was relieved to find that discussion and conversation are valued in the laboratory. The students are very open and positive in tackling experiments or research in which they are interested.
I would like to be able to do individual research in the future and, as a first step towards that, I will work as a post-doctoral researcher in this laboratory from next year. I will do my very best. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Faculty of Engineering

There is a system for students to go from Malaysia to study in Japan. After studying Japanese for two years we take an exam held by MEXT and choose a University in Japan. I chose the University of Toyama for its natural beauty, such as its mountains, snow and rivers.
I am currently engaged in research on residual austenite in the rotating bending fatigue longevity of bearing mechanisms.
The culture and seasons of Japan and Malaysia are totally different. At first I was surprised by things like sorting the garbage. I think that the various experiences I have had in Toyama have been a plus for me.
I intend to work as an engineer for a Japanese company in Malaysia after I graduate. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Graduate School of Science and Engineering for Education, Doctoral Course

The University of Toyama does advanced research on illumination and I came here because I was sure that I would develop under the guidance of the professor. So far I have mainly been doing research on the theme of creating high-quality illumination design by fusing various elements in the lighting of scenery, such as greenness, beauty, approachability and environmental friendliness. I have achieved my objectives in studying illumination and I think that I can be of use to the development of lighting and lights in China.
Toyama is a comfortable place to live. The people are kind, there is fresh seafood, the Tateyama mountain range is beautiful and in winter you can see the rare scenery of the snow country. I really recommend that you consider the University of Toyama if you are thinking about studying in Japan.
My dream is to apply the knowledge I have acquired in Japan and to teach in China as a specialist. It is also my aim to share with as many people as possible the things that I have seen, heard and felt at the University of Toyama. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)


Faculty of Art and Design (Exchange student)

I am here as an exchange student under the Exchange Agreement between the University of Toyama and Capellagarden School of Craft and Design, my school in Sweden. Last summer I toured around Japan and was stimulated by Japanese manufacturing, so I thought it was a great chance when the exchange was decided and raised my hand to apply. I was very interested in Japanese food and culture.
I'm studying right now urushi.  I'm making a small table, for when you're sitting on the floor and eating. For me, coming from Sweden, this is a totally new way of using furniture. In low chairs, and sitting on the floor.
In the future after this school and after my school in Sweden, I would like to have some kind of craft workshop with different types of craftsmen. (Interviewed in Feb. 2010)