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

GraSPPers Voice GraSPPers Voice

It is always "people" that matter the most

Wenting Liu (from China)

I specialized in Cultural Policy and Management at Sciences Po and Economic Policy, Finance and Development at the University of Tokyo.

When I imagined my study abroad in 2019, I had naive rose-colored dreams of traveling the world, wasting time on hobbies, making friends, and getting precious respite before entering society. When I was accepted to the double degree master’s program offered by Sciences Po and the University of Tokyo, I wasn’t expecting Covid-19 to come my way. I was disappointed at first, thinking how much I would miss during the pandemic. Then I decided not to dwell on my loss, but to make the most of the experience and learn from it as much as I could.

Cultural activities during online courses

Even though I took online classes for a long time, I’m still grateful for the program. I had the privilege of experiencing the teaching styles of two top universities in Europe and Asia and exchanging ideas with students from all over the world. I am lucky to have met my best friend at Sciences Po. During our time having remote classes together in Shanghai, we managed to visit a lot of cultural institutions and even found our small craft-making brand. We conducted a lot of fieldwork in Shanghai to study the cultural activities during the epidemic in Shanghai, trying to relate to the courses of Sciences Po and use the knowledge we learned. We even participated in a cultural bazaar as stallholders. It was also a great opportunity to observe the public administration in China under such an unusual situation.

Fieldwork trip with classmates

Sciences Po taught me how to think boldly, be creative, and dream big. The University of Tokyo taught me how to pay attention to detail and keep my feet on the ground. All the faculty members were very responsible and I really enjoyed the courses, especially the intense discussions during the classes. I intentionally took a course related to gender equality at both universities to compare their might-be-different atmospheres and concluded that gender equality and LGBTQ issues still need much more attention in Asia. The education I received in this program has made me a more determined feminist and I feel grateful for that.

I would also want to take to opportunity to express my gratitude to the staff of the GraSPP office. They always responded to any questions I had in a timely manner and gave me a lot of help with my life in Tokyo. I also want to thank the Career Support Office at the University of Tokyo for providing me with a lot of information on finding a job in Japan. I have hoped GraSPP can hold more activities for students to connect with each other, but I understand the limited conditions due to Covid-19. I love the campus of the University of Tokyo and the offline classes we finally can have.

View from my dormitory balcony

The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have been a real influence throughout my master’s program. They changed the world and it is still far away from the end. They remind me that I am not hiding from reality within an ivory tower, but living in such a reality where innocent people’s lives are being restricted, damaged, or ended. They remind me of the purpose of education. This program taught me the importance of empathy with people, and I want to convey that to the students who are interested in the program. I am sure you will have the best learning experience here, in every way.