I am studying at the Institute of Political Studies in France in the city of Lille. The school in which I study is characterized by a compulsory third year of study abroad in a foreign country and university. This is one of the reasons why I joined this school. Indeed, I have felt a strong desire and will to study abroad for several years. I am indeed aware that I live in a world where exchanges are multiplying, where meetings are intensifying. Interested in the human and social sciences, I cannot resign myself to looking only within my national borders.
Never having had the opportunity to travel outside Europe, this opportunity offered by my school seemed unique to me.
I chose to accompany my story with this photo for several reasons: first, it seems that discovering the world changes a person. So I chose an image of myself in order to be able to compare when I return to France! More seriously, this photo was taken during a simulation of a Parliamentary Assembly with an association of which I am a member. This is the "IEP Arena": young students gather and simulate the work of the French National Assembly! Participating in this association made me want to discover a foreign country in its political and legal aspects. Indeed, it seems essential to me to be able to understand with intelligence the institutions and laws of my own country, to be able to compare them with a significantly different country like Japan.
I want to study abroad in order to perfect my spoken English, and to discover a school system and a social, political and cultural model different from mine. The choice of Japan as a destination was not always obvious to me: it was the courses offered by the University of Kobe that convinced me. Indeed, I have always had a vivid interest for law. The courses offered by the University of Kobe, my desire to discover Japanese culture and language, as well as to perfect my knowledge in the legal field, lead me to the decision to apply for a year abroad at the University of Kobe in Japan!
To summarize my objectives: I want to open my mind beyond national borders to understand contemporary global issues. I would like to get in touch with students from all over the world. I would like to improve my knowledge in the political and legal fields at the international level. More specifically, I would like to discover the language, culture, history and people of Japan. I also hope to have the opportunity to travel through Japan to discover the specifics of each region, and the traditional and ancestral crater of this country and its inhabitants. I would like to fully invest myself in the courses offered by the University of Law of Kobe in order to have a unique experience of the daily life of Japanese students! Finally, I want to become more independent and autonomous in order to prepare myself for a rich professional and human life!
I've been living in Kobe for four months now. My daily life is extraordinary. Certainly, my desire to travel was motivated by the desire to experience a world that no longer really has any borders. However, I had no idea how much in just 4 months I would be able to learn and be enriched by cultural differences. I already feel at home in Kobe!
On a more human level, I've had the chance to travel. Already, I tried to visit Kansai: Nara, Kyoto, Himeji, Osaka. I also went for a week to Tokyo. It was extraordinary. At each stage of my travels, I had the chance to meet Japanese people always ready to help me. For the first time in my life I saw Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Each time I travel, I write a small report that I send to my family to share my adventures with them. If I had to choose a trip that made the most impression on me, it would be Hiroshima for the moment. This city was able to rebuild itself after a cataclysm, without forgetting its duty to remember. Visiting the museum of memory was really exciting and striking. I will remember the remains of the dome all my life. I also had the chance to meet locals: nothing better to really understand the other and his culture. I was welcomed at the home of a Japanese friend's mother who made us discover culinary specialties.
To sum up, I'm having an extraordinary university experience. You can't describe the benefits of a trip like this. You have to live it. Since I still have 6 months to live here, I would like to invest more in learning Japanese and continue to travel!
This final report is somewhat... special! Indeed, I was supposed to go back to France in August. However, the world health situation forced me to go back to my family in April! In only 6 months, I still learned a lot, and changed a lot: my first feeling is that in 6 months I feel like I grew 6 years older!
Already, since I am here, I am more sensitive to international news: going to Japan made me realize that before being a French citizen, I am a citizen of the world.
On an academic level, I have learned a lot. In English, at the beginning, I wasn't very comfortable. Now I can take a two-hour course in English and understand everything. Moreover, I have only had to deal with passionate teachers. It's a chance to have access to teachers from all over the world! From an academic point of view, I have matured my professional project. Studying in a law school reinforced my idea of becoming a judge.
I will particularly remember Japanese food: Japanese food is delicious: takoyaki, okonomiyaki, iced melon pan! Once back in France, I cooked sushi and okonomiyaki for my family: they loved it!
I have some unforgettable memories: I had the chance to visit Burma, Malaysia and Thailand. I visited all of Kansai and before leaving I did a road trip along the Japanese coast during the Sakura flowering period. I finally understood this fascination for the Sakura. Observing Sakura trees leads to very poetic reflections.
Of course I have some disappointments because of this early departure: I would have liked to have had time to discover Mount Fuji, and to learn Japanese. But if not: I have no regrets.
This health crisis has accelerated my departure, but I accept it. I had time to discover an extraordinary country is very different from France. Since I came back, I share my experience with my friends and family: I made everyone want to discover Japan!