1 – To increase my cultural awareness
The opportunity of the studying in Japan is the way to discover a new and very different culture from France. I have never been in Asia, but it always attracted me. Indeed, the idea of going to study in Japan comes from my passion for some Japanese subcultures such as manga and Miyazaki movies. I am very excited about the idea to study in Japan for discovering its traditions, foods, sense of spirit, and ways of life which are completely new for me. I hope to integrate university associations (humanitarian, school life, theater…) to meet Japanese students. It is very important for me to know another way of life than in Europe because I would like to work for the field of humanitarian Law in my future.
2 - To improve my English and my Japanese
Secondly, I believe that this opportunity of studying in Japan is a way to improve my English as I will take classes which taught in English. Nowadays, I think it is very important skill to know how to speak English and I hope to be fluent at the end of this academic year. A good communication with people who have different backgrounds will be key competence for any work in humanitarian law. Studying abroad is also the way to learn a new language. I’m not satisfied with my Japanese language level which I have learned the basics for preparing for this international exchange. I can’t wait to learn even more at Kobe University.
3 – To study Japanese Law
Last but not least, as I would like to work in the field of humanitarian law for non-governmental organizations, Kobe University appears very attractive for me. Last year, I have taken Law studies at my home university in France, and this glance was very interesting and useful for me. The idea to discover the path and rules of Japanese law would be really exciting and I think it could be an important asset later on. Moreover, I plan to do an internship in NGO in Japan during the inter-semester period to have a more concrete view of the application of Japanese law than classroom learning at University. I believe that this year in Japan will be rich and useful in my entire life thanks to human encounters and learning. I’m looking forward to this year in Japan which hopefully allow me to have more open-mindedness about life.
The first semester is soon over and it’s time to make a resume of these 4 months in Japan. I discovered this beautiful country which is very different from mine. During these months I learned a new culture and met new people. I realized how it’s important to travel to be more open-minded. My classes at university are also helpful for me to understand better the Japanese culture. I am lucky to be here as a student, I think that it’s a precious experience to immerse myself more in Japan. In this report, I would like to talk about my experience in Japan as a student and also about the country where I've discovered through travelling.
During the first semester, I met Japanese people and I learnt new things about Japan includes Japanese Law. I think that it is difficult to meet and communicate Japanese local people if you visit this country as a traveler, because of the language which is so far from mine and because of the behaviors that different from Europeans. As a student, I had the opportunities to make some works (presentation for example) with Japanese students and found local friends who can help me in my daily life. I learned a lot from these friends.
Secondly, my classes were very interesting. I chose a lot of classes from Faculty of Literature about Japanese culture. My class with the professor J. Guzik ‘Contemporary Japanese society’ was very helpful to understand better about religions or gender issues in Japan for example. My class with the professor K. Yui was also very interesting, every week we met people who present their jobs to us (Farmer of Kobe Beef, Sake producer…). The encounter with these people helped me to understand better how it’s to work in Japan. My class which called ‘EU-Japan Comparative Seminar’ was helpful to understand Japanese migrations policies and the complexity of that problematic. In this semester I also learnt how works Asian law thanks to our professor who came from Austria and China, who could teach us the differences with European law. All the field trips organized by our professors were interesting to apply the theoretical learning in reality. We went to Inuyuma in Aichi prefecture to visit shrines and temples where we learned how to do the rituals in Shinto and Buddhism. We went to a shrine for the Shichi-go-san day, and we visited a Sake factory… I also chose a class ‘Global Active Learning’ which organized a trip to Hiroshima. It was important for me to go Hiroshima as it’s a historic place, and associate with the Occidental countries. . We went to the Peace Museum and the Peace Memorial Park, at there we also met a girl who travels around the world for telling the history of Hiroshima to foreigners. She is fighting against nuclear weapons. This class was very interesting to have another point of view of history from that which is teaching in France. Thanks to my first semester in Japan I could understand better this country than a foreigner who just visit as a traveler.
During the first semester, I’ve traveled around Japan to understand better the theoretical learning at university. I went to Tokyo where I thought a busy city but to my surprise, finally I found calm parks such as Shinjuku Gyoen, Meiji-jingū… Tokyo is a city with a mixture of modern and traditional things. I went to the National Museum where exhibited the Japanese art since Jōmon to Edo era. In Tokyo, there are many places to enjoy Japanese culture, such as museum, temporary exhibitions etc. more than other places. I also went to Kyoto where I discovered many traditional things. I visited Kiyomisu-dera, Nanzen-ji in Higashiyama, also Arashiyama and Sagano. In that place I sat in Buddhism ceremony. It was so impressing! I discovered a lot of Japanese cities which were super different from each other (Osaka, Nagoya, Himeji…) and it was rich to see what my professors teach me around Japan.
I also went to the Mount Fuji. For Japanese people, Mount Fuji is very special and it’s a sacred place.. I found a calm and spiritual personality in myself. Often, I face with problems in my life, but I think this place helps me to have a different perspective upon my life. Maybe the reason why I found this place so magical was that we had to wait for 3 days before seeing its whole view because of the cloudy weather.
To conclude, this first semester was very rich. I have never learned so much before. I discovered this country with its peoples, culture, and cities. Through this exchange student programme, I improved my English so much thanks to the classes and my international friends here. I also learned a bit of Japanese but it’s a very difficult language. I am very happy of my experience in Japan so far. Now, I can’t wait for the second semester to learn more new things and to fulfill my new goals: Learn more about Japanese language and travel even more through this incredible country.
It is been almost 10 months that I arrived in Japan for my first time in Asia. I couldn’t imagine that entered this plane in Paris would change my life such as that. I am happy that I stayed here for one year and not only for 6 months. I started to feel at home in Japan after 6 months. Now I just don’t want to leave. I think that this exchange program has changed my way of thinking and changed me.
About the results of my studies abroad at Kobe University in Japan, I will try to resume but there are a lot of things to say. Firstly, I would like to say that I am more open-minded to other cultures in Asia but also to foreigners. I met a lot of people from all over the world (Americans, Europeans, Asian, Africans…) and I traveled a lot around Asia (South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia). I am happy to be aware of what is happening in Asia and the conflicts which takes place here. Thanks to my travels in Japan and thanks to my classes at Kobe University Faculty of Law I have a huge knowledge about the Japanese society and its culture. During this second semester, I had very interesting class about gender issues, feminism in Japan, history of Japan, and environmental law in business transactions. I also took some Japanese class, it was very helpful for me to understand how the Japanese society is working, and the logic of this language is reflecting the Japanese society. I am happy to leave Japan with knowing how to speak a bit of Japanese! Thanks to this exchange program I improved my English and I learnt Japanese. I want to continue to learn Japanese in France and take class in Sciences Po Lille. Also, I am happy to say that I have some friends from all over the world, thanks to this student exchange program at Kobe University. It was very interesting to see how foreigners can work and how the method of studying is different from each country. Thanks to this student exchange program in Japan I am more autonomous and I know how to manage difficult situation by myself. It was not easy for me to leave my family and my friends for one year but I am happy to say that I succeeded it. I am more confident about my future life now.
Next year I will integrate my master degree called “Professions of Public and Private Relations”. I am really excited to be more specialized. I just found my professional project this year, it takes me some times to realize what I wanted to do in my life. Finally, I know that I want to work in NGO after my master degree. I want to integrate the career at the NGO specialized in the medical sector such as French NGO’s like Médecins Sans Frontières, Médecins du Monde. I was looking for an internship during the winter break in Médecins Sans Frontières NGO’s in Tokyo. They told me that it was not possible for this year but they asked me for summer 2020, maybe a good opportunity for me to come back in Japan! However, I don’t want and I can’t imagine myself working in NGO during all my life. Humanity is very important and we need it, but for me it’s immoral and against my principles to gain money thanks to NGO. I don’t want get income because I am working in NGO, I want to work in NGO because I want to solve some international problems which are, for me, very important. That’s why NGO is not my final goal. Thanks to my master degree I have a lot of opportunities to do what I want. After 3 or 4 years in NGO and thanks to this experience I would like to work in France, still in medical sector, for example to improve public policies about health, or do digital innovation to improve the medical system. I know that the French medical sector is very problematic and we have a lot of things to change that’s why I want to invest myself in this fight and I am sure that my studies in France and especially in Japan will helps me to success my goal!
Thanks you Kobe University for all the good things you gave me during this year 2018-2019!