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  1. Career
    1. My One and Only
    2. Interning at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
    3. S. Takata Memorial Research Library and My Research Theme
    4. Building a Career in Japan - Don't let the Japanese people beat you in linguistic skills and cultural comprehension -
    5. 67 years after World War II
    6. What is a life plan? From the National Bar Exam to becoming a painter
    7. Job-hunting experience note -Receiving a job offer from the first-choice company is not a dream-
    8. Job-hunting experience note -Self-analysis is about "Constructing one-self"-
    9. The skill-levels of world-class top talents are extremely high. That is why, in order to compete against the world, ambition and aspiration is necessary.
    10. Japan's passport did not come falling from the skies. Fight now for the respect of the future Japanese.
    11. OECD Internship Report
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    14. Job Hunting experience notes
    15. In Finland, as an Artist and a Researcher
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  1. Event Reports
    1. C21 Tokyo Challenge
    2. Enjoying a taste of South-East Asia: Vietnamese Bánh Mì Sandwiches and Milo
    3. Looking Back on the "Go Global Japan" English Presentation Contest
    4. Student Visa Day at the American Embassy
    5. 3rd Place Finish in the "Hong Kong Cup"
    6. Students' Day at the American Embassy
    7. ASIAN STUDENTS ENVIRONMENT PLATFORM 2012: Environmental field studies by students from Japan, China, and Korea
    8. Reflections on the Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 Part 2: Non-academic conference learning
    9. Reflections on the Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 Part 1: Academic conference learning
    10. The 7th Foreigner's Traditional Japanese Dance Exhibition: Waseda University student performers' questionnaire interview
    11. [Event] Universitas 21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 at Waseda University - ended in a great success!
  1. Gourmet
    1. What Do You Do With a Major in Ramen?
  1. Others
    1. "Ship for South East Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP)"
    2. Exchange Students from US Reunite at Waseda after 30 years
    3. "Like" WiN on Facebook!
    4. WiN Blog starts
  1. Sports
    1. Learning How "To Think" Through Waseda University's Track & Field
    2. Participating in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships
    3. "Participating in the XXV Winter Universiade Games (2011/Erzurum)"
    4. My experience with Waseda's American Football Bukatsu
  1. Study Abroad
    1. Shifting Cultivation and the Challenge of Sustainability in Mopungchuket Village, India
    2. Building the TOMODACHI Generation
    3. Kakehashi Project Report
    4. The Double Degree Program at Peking University
    5. Camping and Snowshoeing in Canada
    6. An Encouragement of two-stages approach to study abroad
    7. Studying abroad in Brisbane, Australia
    8. A new kind of Study Abroad
    9. 14-Day Short term Study Abroad Program in Chowgule College, Goa - "What can I do? What can they do? What can you do?"
    10. From Tsugaru strait to the African highest peak Kilimanjaro
    11. PIANO LINE -Seattle Study Abroad Chronicles-
    12. In Finland, as an Artist and a Researcher
    13. What I learned about China through Shanghai Fudan University
    14. Why are those who've experienced study abroad programs a little different? -Full Japanese SILS student reveals the whole story of studying abroad -
    15. China, The Neighboring Country You Do Not Know ~ My Encounter at Peking University ~
    16. Study Abroad Experience Notes
    17. C'est la vie! This is life! Work hard, Play hard.
    18. Study abroad @ Taiwan
    19. Study abroad @ Beijing
  1. Study in Japan
    1. Visiting the Prime Minister's Residene
    2. IPS Summer School 2016: Culture Meets Culture
    3. The World is Smaller than We Think
    4. Waseda Summer 2016
    5. The Opportunity of a Lifetime
    6. Experiencing Village Life at Kijimadaira
    7. A Fantastic Opportunity
    8. A Rewarding Experience
    9. An Amazing Experience
    10. Take Me Wonder by Wonder
    11. I Couldn't Ask for More
    12. Another Kokusaibu Story
    13. SAKURA Exchange Program in Science
    14. I Want to Go Again!
    15. More than Good Sushi
    16. Immersive Experience into the Japanese Culture
    17. 40 Years of Memories in a Photo
    18. Experiencing Everything First Hand
    19. Waseda Summer Session wasn't like any other Summer Camp
    20. Looking Forward to the Past
    21. Weeding a Rice Paddy ~Field Trip to Niigata~
    22. Japan Study Students to Waseda: A message from the class of 1983-84
    23. Developing Medical and Welfare Robots ~The Challenges of Kabe Laboratory, Faculty of Human Sciences~
    24. Recollecting experiences of Exchange Programme at Waseda
    25. Kuroda Kazuo Interview: About Studying in Japan
  1. Volunteer Activity
    1. Taking the first step in volunteering
    2. "Volunteer experience in earthquake-hit area Natori"
    3. "The Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Volunteering"
    4. How my perspective changed through volunteering
    5. Tohoku Volunteer
    6. Great East Japan Earthquake    "Fumbaro East Japan Support Project"

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Blog

Why are those who've experienced study abroad programs a little different? -Full Japanese SILS student reveals the whole story of studying abroad -

Profile
Name:Kai Toyonaga
Period Attended at Waseda:2008 to presentt
Affiliation at Waseda:School of International Liberal Studies ( 2008  to present)
Host University: University of Warwick (United Kingdom)

This is just an ordinary persons experience note about a study abroad program. I have written here what I saw and what I felt. If considering to study abroad, please build your own perspective by also reading other experience notes and hearing about your college seniors personal experiences.


August 2009, landing at London Heathrow Airport I was filled with hope. I knew that from this day on I would have a new lifestyle and a new self. It was a big opportunity to change myself and believed I could accomplish this all easily.
 
The type of study abroad I had in mind was one of those that anybody would think idealistically about when I spoke of it and like those you see on group study abroad promotional sites. I would have my morning discussion class in an international environment and naturally we would all go out to have a friendly lunch. In the afternoon, in the big lecture hall, I would sit next to the blonde girl I got acquainted to and take down my notes for the class, and later on sweat it out on the sports ground. Once getting home to the dormitory I would be greeted like family by my flat mates and we would cook dinner together and spend the night drinking and talking away…

I was so naïve… To even think I was expecting to gain all this without any effort was so wrong of me.
Well, let me briefly tell you what kind of life style I did have.
In one word: boring.
I had about 6~7 classes a week and these classes were nowhere near to the friendly environment I had in mind. As soon as class was over everyone would leave in a hurry and I had no chance to mingle. Even when I got back to the dormitory, the English students would all be huddled up in a group, speaking very fast British English that I found hard to understand.
They mostly ignored me and at night would disappear off to the clubs. Even when I did tag along I wasn’t able to have much fun.
There were group activities (student organizations) as well but nothing like those back home in Japan. There were hardly any depth of devotion or connection between the students and yet again, as soon as the group activity was over, everyone would leave in a hurry. I would then realize that I was all alone. I had no friends.
I began to lose confidence in myself and was unable to start up anything for myself for 2 months.
Right before I started to panic about my study abroad, I realized something: The environment in England is very much different from the one back in Japan. It is very daunting. However, if the environment changed, I myself must also change.
Not such a big deal then. In Japan it is easier to experience fulfillment without having to be proactive. Many things are set in advance for you, such as your part-time job, group activities and classes. Then what did I do to change? I realized the answer was to create my own path.
If you change your perspective on things, being bored only means you have more time on your hands. This was a great opportunity to challenge myself to become independent and build initiative. From then onwards I was driven to find activities on my own. Let me give 3 examples. First: Language Exchange. I was part of the Japan Society group and suggested them to organize an activity where students interested in Japanese culture and language can learn. By half forcefully creating an opportunity to interact with local students it allowed me to understand the cultural wall between us. Second: Sports Activity. I was part of 3 different sports group activities and I made friends by asking people to practice with me one-on-one. This was a great idea since even the people who hurried off home would stay behind and we would hang out at the pubs for a drink, or to watch the soccer match. I became very close to the friends I made through the sports clubs and we would cook meals together, go on holidays and I was able to call some of them my close friends. Third: Study. My goal at the moment is to increase my level in English therefore I wished to increase my English level through discussions and such. Therefore I gathered other study abroad program students with the same interests and held discussions in small groups using textbook materials from Waseda.

By continuing to build up on these small efforts, before I knew it I had a small group of friends around me.
From those days that I complained about how bored I was, I managed to develop it into days where I was busy with fulfillment.

Finally the day had come, July 23rd 2010: the day for me to go back home to Japan. 2 friends I had especially become close to came to the airport to see me off. Just before heading to the gates I hugged them goodbye in tears. At this moment amidst all the sorrow I felt the success of my study abroad experience. The harder it is to say goodbye, the more fulfilling was the time that I spent there.

This is about all I can talk about my experiences. How was it and is this what you would of imagined? Studying abroad is not such an easy thing to do and if you allow yourself to just sit back and do nothing it will pass you by very quickly. But if you take initiative and make things happen for yourself, the things you can learn and obtain is limitless. I am certain that I was able to change myself through my study abroad experience. Even after half a year since I returned to Japan, I have continued to take initiative and it now lives within me as part of my DNA. I know that my life right now is fulfilled as a result of my study abroad experience.
After reading this, if you feel like you would also like to go on a study abroad program I strongly suggest you visit the Center for International Education.
The door to the world is always open.

(豊永)留学の合間に.jpg

Visited Egypt during my study abroad

(豊永)砂漠の真ん中で.jpg

At a desert camps in Africa

 

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