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My experience in Japan

Wed., April 1, 2020

Clara, an exchange student of TUFS during Fall 2019 from University of Ghana, sent us an essay about her stay in Japan. Toyota Ghana provided her a roundtrip air ticket, so that she could study at TUFS. She was eager to learn Japanese and Japanese culture and took a basic Japanese course. We're happy to know that she also enjoyed Japanese culture during holidays.

Please enjoy her essay as follows.

My 2019/2020 academic term at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies has been an enriching experience to my academic, social and cultural life. Outlined by a schedule of impactful activities and study sessions, the ISEP Program has indeed provided me with an opportunity to utilize my abilities to its full potential.


At the gate of TUFS

During my first few days in Japan, I was constantly updated by well-informed orientations, which featured class registration tutorials. Locating the school from Narita Airport was a challenging task because I arrived hours earlier than I expected to, but I arrived at TUFS in no time, due to the hospitable nature of every individual I came across. Japanese classes began on 27th September, 2019, where I was introduced to Hiragana, the basic alphabets in Japan. After my first month in Japan, I had mastered the hiragana and katakana alphabets, which I found very accomplishing. I visited the African Studies Center the following day, where I met Professor Shinichi Takeuchi and his team, who were extremely helpful with registration procedures.

The school made provisions for quality academic achievements. Classroom sessions featured interactive activities including active learning, presentations and group discussions for every course I offered . The learning environment at TUFS enabled me to interact cross-culturally with Japanese and Foreigners. This allowed discussions concerning global issues, to arrive at well-balanced conclusions. During my stay, I made good use of the well-equipped study rooms in the library, the research building and the dormitories, which were beneficial towards the preparation of my research papers.

The Gaigosai, a school intercultural festival, which featured cultural displays from countries across the globe was a good avenue for me to take a break from studying, and immerse myself in school festivities. I interacted with diverse cultures for a week, through shows, food and displays. This has increased my understanding of global cultural traditions.

Most importantly, I have inculcated the Japanese lifestyle, featuring a wide range of healthy habits into my daily life. I am eager to impact the knowledge I have acquired during these few months, on every individual I come into contact with.

I established relations with other international students, who were eager to schedule sightseeing activities during the holidays. I visited the Disney resort, Team lab borderless and Asakusa. My time at Asakusa particularly facilitates unforgettable moments, because this is where I experienced wearing a kimono for the first time.


Wearing Kimono in front of Sensouji Temple

My stay in Japan has been an inspiring one. I made lifelong memories, established deep-rooted connections and got to see life through a different lens. This has been a worthwhile opportunity and I would not hesitate to relive my experience.I am very grateful to Toyota Ghana, the African Studies Center, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and Japan Students Services Organization, for facilitating this impactful student exchange journey.