download graspp user website pdf tell external home arrow_down arrow_left arrow_right arrow_up language mail map search tag train downloads

東京大学公共政策大学院 | GraSPP / Graduate School of Public Policy | The university of Tokyo

Student Reports

Student Reports

Canteens and Facility building

Tatsuya Sakashita


Some of my close friends at GraSPP will be going overseas to study during the winter semester. As I was chatting with them about this, I became eager to study abroad myself, and it so happened that, soon after, I came across information about the Campus-Asia International Summer School (ISS) program. I thought this would be very good opportunity for me, and so I applied to join.

The summer school was held at the Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS), Seoul National University, from August 1st to 13th, 2012. We had classes from Monday to Thursday, field trips on Friday, and free time on the weekends. We took the final exam in the last class. It was a pity that students from the School of International Studies (SIS), Peking University were unable to join us in the ISS program on this occasion.

We took classes in the lecture hall. Professors from GraSPP, GSIS and SIS gave lectures on their specialized fields of expertise, and there was a question-and-answer period at the end of each class. The lectures were easy to grasp though I was a little disappointed that that we had no opportunity to have discussions or do group work with GSIS students.There were two field trips, a tour of the city of Seoul and a visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Seeing the Demilitarized Zone with my own eyes was an experience I shall not forget. North Korean scenery that I had seen only on video footage was now laid out before me, a deep forest 4 km wide, left untouched for 50 years since the war because the armistice had banned both sides from entry. At the Joint Security Area I saw the armistice line and felt the tension and reality of this divided peninsula. The thought that the DMZ is also one of the main sightseeing areas in Korea gave me a very mixed feeling.

Taking part in the ISS program, as the days went by, I realized I how little I really knew about Korea as compared to Korean (GSIS) students who have studied Japanese-Korean history and relations in great depth. There is a learning deficit here that I think we Japanese should urgently address, as it is a first step towards mutual understanding.

It was first time for me to visit South Korea, and overall I got a favorable impression. Seoul is a very convenient and comfortable place to live. A big bonus for students is that there is much easier internet access in Korea than in Japan. But above all, it was the kindness of the Korean people that impressed me most.

I greatly appreciate the support given to us all by GSIS professors, staff, and students. My thanks go especially to the teaching assistant student, who devoted herself wholeheartedly to assist us. Thanks to her, we had a great experience in Seoul. When GSIS students visit Tokyo, we must do our utmost to make them equally welcome. I would like as well to express my thanks to the staff at GraSPP for offering me such a precious opportunity.

I think the Campus-Asia program gives us a wonderful opportunity to enlarge our understanding of East Asia. The International Summer School is a valuable extension to the Campus Asia program, one that I highly recommend students to join.