For my last semester at Sciences Po, I decided to go for the exchange program at GraSPP. I am very glad that I made this choice and I would definitely recommend this valuable experience to anyone with a curious mind.
From the beginning and until the end, the exchange program was very well coordinated so that foreign students don’t feel lost and make the most of their stay in Japan. The International Affairs Office was always open to help the students throughout the semester and over various issues (administrative, financial, etc.)
Before arriving in Japan, each step of the application was overviewed by the lovely team who made sure that all documents and procedures were obtained in due time. I also greatly appreciated the tutoring program, which pairs incoming students with a Japanese-speaking tutor. Thus, my tutor helped me get around a country that I didn’t know at first, welcoming me at the airport and walking me through the administrative tasks and small issues. She quickly became a good friend.
As regard the academics, GraSPP offers a wide range of English-taught courses, which exchange students can select according to their objectives and preferences. I was glad to study diverse topics such as Energy Security, Development Finance or Conflict Studies with charismatic teachers who made their class very interesting.
Studying at GraSPP also means benefitting from the beautiful Hongo campus and its facilities. I always enjoyed walking around campus, sitting near the Sanshiro Pond, working in one of the numerous libraries or going for a swim at Gotenshita Ground. Life on campus was amazing and regularly brightened up by events organized by the students and the International Center. Indeed, a number of activities were organized throughout the semester (yukata parties, Japanese homestay programs, forum for discussion with Japanese students, visits of Tokyo’s neighborhoods, etc.)
This semester at GraSPP thus made me learn a lot, in and outside the classrooms, on academic topics and on Japan. I am very glad I could live this experience and I wanted to thank the University of Tokyo and all the people who helped in making it such a lovely stay here.