My dream is to become a global citizen, and studying in Kyoto has provided a solid background to make my vision come true.
Ngo Phuong Anh (จาก Vietnam)
※บทสัมภาษณ์ ของปี 2022
How did you decide where to study abroad? Please tell us why you chose Kyoto in the end.
I studied Japanese for 3 years in my home country, so I wanted to experience studying and living in Japan. I got a scholarship from a private Japanese foundation and came to Japan. Kyoto provides a great learning environment for students and the city is rich in history and tradition, which is great for me to boost my knowledge and cultural experience.
What are you currently studying? If you’ve already graduated, what did you study before?
I am studying the Japanese society and global culture concentration in the Institute of Liberal Arts faculty. The faculty offers English programs for international students, including different social fields such as politics, economics, and culture.
Before studying abroad, what kind of image did you have of Kyoto?
As Kyoto was the old capital of Japan for over 1000 years, I thought of Kyoto as a place of traditional values and culture. I also knew that Kyoto was famous for its tourist attractions, many temples, and shrines.
How did your image of Kyoto change when you actually studied abroad here?
I find Kyoto surprisingly similar to my hometown, Hanoi. Kyoto is also filled with modern buildings and nature, making it a perfect combination between the old and the new. Plus, the educational environment is so diverse, with students coming from different backgrounds.
What were you nervous about before studying abroad? Please tell us in detailabout any worries you had.
As Japan is a high-context environment, I was worried about the language barriers that could cause misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Although I had JLPT N2 before coming to Japan, my speaking was not that great. I worried that I might have a hard time making friends there because of my language ability and cultural differences.
What about Kyoto makes you glad to have come here? What has made an impression on you?
I love nature, the calming lifestyle, and the people I’ve met in Kyoto. The seasonal scenery is amazing. I was not an active person, but taking a walk to enjoy the view in a peaceful setting has become my hobby while staying in Kyoto. My friends, my professors, and my part-time job coworkers also make my student life more fun and meaningful.
Was there anything especially difficult about studying abroad?
Getting used to public transportation and the rules of daily life in Japan was challenging. I found the garbage disposal system tricky as the separation rules are way different from my hometown. I also got lost so many times trying to get on the correct train or bus, even with the help of navigation apps like Google Maps.
What do you think is most appealing about studying in Kyoto?
Kyoto is ideal for its learning environment. There is a saying, “For learning, Kyoto; for work, Osaka; to live in, Kobe”(京都で学び、大阪で働き、神戸に住む). There are many good universities in Kyoto, with prestigious professors winning Nobel prizes. The professors and university staff are so friendly and supportive. Wandering around the city could be a great way to learn about the history and culture of Kyoto, too.
How do you want to utilize your study abroad experience in the future?
I want to apply my learning experiences and language ability to my job and use them to contribute to society. Having the opportunity to study in a diverse environment, I wish to share this lens of cultural diversity to improve communication and help those interested in studying abroad to achieve their goal.
What is your post-graduation dream?
My dream is to become a global citizen. I believe taking an active role in the community and contributing to building an equal and sustainable environment will benefit the general values [of all]. Studying in Kyoto has provided a solid background for me to make my dream come true.
Lastly, please sharegive a message to students considering studying abroad in Kyoto.
If you are looking for an opportunity for personal growth, a supportive learning environment, and tranquil nature, Kyoto is the perfect place to be.