CAMPUS ASIA. This exchange program among SNU GSIS, UT GRASPP and PKU MIR is the perfect route to experience three top universities in Asia and learn from experts in the field of international politics, economic studies and social science. As I was originally from SNU GSIS, UT GRASPP was another great opportunity to learn 1) something different from what I used to study, and 2) different analysis on the previous studies.
One year in the University of Tokyo was truly an inspiring moment to come up with future plans as some of the classmates are from World Bank, international organizations and their government sectors. The best point of UT still memorable is that the school is actively engaged in many other exchange programs. Therefore, during the year of my stay, I was able to meet many oversea students form other major universities in many other countries.
Courses are majorly focused on the field of “Public Policy,” specifically students go deep into different types of public policy studies. There are more various choices when students can participate classes in both Japanese and English. Since my original major of study was international relations, I focused more on political science major courses. My overall impression on the atmosphere of the lectures I took here in Tokyo was “No Pause.” With the small number of students, professors did have charisma that led students to speak out and continue critical thinking.
The most inspired class at the University of Tokyo was Politics and Mass media taught by Professor Taniguchi. No need to mention from his power to make students concentrate on discussions and exchange opinions. Politics can be something harsh and sensitive to share opinions on especially when it comes to involve stringing international conflicts. Yet, the class eased the pressure that students can be exposed to with the excellent time management of the professor and the curriculum. As I was able to speak Japanese and one out of little number of international students in the class, it was great to get to hear opinions of Japanese students and freely talk about anything on spot.
However, on top of everything of the lectures and life in Tokyo, it was the international affairs office team that helped us out with spending a successful year 2013. Frequently sent notice emails and reminders to every single school events and notices allowed us hard to miss great opportunities such as internships, trips, dinners and cultural exchanges. Besides this, they welcomed us anytime during office hour to do their best if we have any problems. They were our greatest assistance, advisors, and friends.
To be fair, the course choices can be different depending on language ability of Japanese or English. If a student is eligible to only Japanese, the student might as well have more choices than those are also able to speak English. However, all classes welcome those who are willing to learn and participate. Some professors, although the language choice of the course was Japanese, allowed some international students to participate class mixing up English and Japanese. So language is not a problem, but how much you give a try is the issue that the courses ask for. Fair opportunity and best efforts professors will provide during the class.