The dual degree programme between Sciences Po and the University of Tokyo exceeded the expectations I had when I was accepted two years ago. I was able to study at two of the world’s leading universities and obtained a comprehensive skillset that prepared me for today’s competitive labour market. Further, by living in two amazing cities I have developed personally by engaging with people from across the globe. After a demanding and fast-paced year in Paris, I arrived in Tokyo excited for a new challenge. The helpfulness and efficiency of GraSPP staff was welcome after a year of battling through French bureaucracy. They facilitated a smooth transition Japanese education by providing clear instructions and always being at hand to answers any questions I had.
After studying social policy at Sciences Po, UTokyo’s academic programme allowed me to develop new areas of interest, specifically in the field of economics where I took classes such as the political economy of East Asia, sovereign debt and macroeconomics for public policy. The GraSPP professors acquainted me with new methods of teaching along with fresh perspectives which I would not have been introduced to if I had stayed in Europe. Nonetheless, the programme’s flexibility enabled me to write my thesis on social policy, demonstrating the complementary nature of the dual degree programme. Moreover, my horizons were broadened by the diverse student body that made for rich class discussions.
Outside of the classroom, living Japan provided a plethora of enriching experiences. Tokyo is a vibrant metropolis that offers cuisine, art and culture to rival any city in the world. Japan at times can be overwhelming but locals were always willing to help despite of my basic language skills. Visits to Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima were truly special and something I will not forget. I was able to ski a number of weekends throughout the winter, with Yuzawa only a short Shinkansen ride from Tokyo. Socially I developed long-lasting relationships with GraSPP students along with friends met outside of UTokyo.
Overall, my year in Tokyo could not have been better. I obtained a top-class education that was both comprehensive and tailored to my interests whilst developing personally by living in Tokyo. The dual degree programme at Sciences Po and UTokyo has equipped me with a comprehensive and in-depth education along with magical memories.