<<  November 2011  >>


  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
    12. Settling down in Waseda
    13. Be true to yourself, boldly step forward into the things that excite you!
    14. Job Hunting experience notes
    15. In Finland, as an Artist and a Researcher
    16. Using My experiences from Waseda,
    17. Waseda:An everlasting bond
    18. Recent report from Denmark
    19. Submission from WiN member (Recent Report)
    20. Memories of Waseda
    21. My experience at Waseda
    22. My time at Waseda University
    23. Teaching Position at Korea University
  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:Nov, 2011

How my perspective changed through volunteering

Name :Dennis Chia
Hometown: Singapore
Legnth of time at Waseda University:It will be 4 years in March 2012
Studying at: School of International Liberal studies
Majoring in: Languages and Communication
Lecturer: Paul Snodin

After the Earthquake on March 11th, all these images came flooding in from the disaster zones and every day I was trying to think of something I could do to help.
I could feel the families and children affected were filled with despair. This country, that inspired my dreams when I was 13 years old, was now being trampled on before my very eyes and my heart sank. I never imagined things would develop in to the way they did hours and days after the Earthquake and there was no way I could sit back and not do anything.

I contacted Peter Draw, a Singaporean charity painter I met when I first arrived in Japan in 2008, and asked him if he would like to do something with me and his response was very positive so we teamed together to do something. So I flew to Singapore to meet with Peter and talk with him about what is happening in Japan and to research and came back to Japan one week later. This project will have the purpose of bringing hope and dreams back to the children who have lost their families or homes. I went around to the elementary schools in Tokyo and to refugee centers and asked for drawings and messages that will bring hope to the children in the affected areas.  That was when “The dream project” was born.



However, Peter couldn’t speak any Japanese and we didn’t know where these two foreigners could start this movement. .Then I remembered professor Baba who I had met the year before from the Ministry of Culture, Sport Science and Technology. With only a glimmer of hope I sent an e-mail to the professor outlining our project and request. To my surprise I had a response within hours saying “You have my biggest support!” and only a few hours after that、Peter and I met with the professor in a café. Thanks to professor Baba’s help, he connected us to some schools and that was where our “Dream project” started to take shape.
I didn’t know Peter or Professor Baba before I had come to Japan, but now three strangers who had come together by chance were working together after the Earthquake with the same purpose and goal in mind.
As I travelled with Peter to different schools and evacuation centers we met many other volunteers and we were all strangers but greeted each other with a big smile. It didn’t matter what country you were from, there is nothing like the power of the same dreams and same purpose to bring people together.
My Taiwanese friend saw what we were doing and spoke to me one day. He said that his father was a council member in Taichung and that his father would like to get involved in what we were doing. Peter and I were flown to Taiwan. We had the chance to visit two schools that had been reconstructed since the big Earthquake they had in 1999. The love that the Taiwanese people have for Japan was shown by both the schools and the Taichung media.
Like I stated before, nationality doesn’t matter, it’s our dreams that bring us together. The intrinsic way that people are connected started to sink in as I realized that two Singaporeans were standing in a school in Taiwan to work together for Japan.

Six weeks after the Earthquake I started volunteering through the Waseda University Volunteer centre (WAVOC) and went up to the Disaster zone 3 times. I was lost for words as I saw the damage and this experience made me think about a lot of things. The survivors had a positive attitude, and wanting to share their experiences with lots of people.
The toys and clothes that we picked up from out of the rubble each tell a story of its own. I felt it was my duty to share these stories with the people around me and the next generation.

In July I went to Iwate and Fukushima to deliver the “Dream Project” for the first time. When I saw these children who had lost families or homes face to face I was lost for words at first. My mind went blank, I didn’t know what to day. But then I found the answer.

We can’t avoid things like Earthquakes or Tsunami’s from happening, however when things like this happen I realized how important it is to reach out to the people around you. Starting with Professor Baba, all the schools that got involved and all the people we met at the refugee centers, it was the same passion to help that united us and birthed all these different projects. Not to mention all the people living in the affected areas who are helping each other during this time.

My perspective of this world changed through these chains of volunteers. It made me value the people I meet as people of destiny as opposed to coincidence. We are all connected to help and be helped. I don’t ever want to forget to live in this way.

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Tohoku Volunteer


Name: Yoshiyuki Onuma
Nationality: Japan
Period of enrollment at Waseda University:  2007-2011
Place of enrollment at Waseda University: School of Social Sciences, specializing in law
Academic Supervisor at Waseda:Hajime Takano

I went to volunteer in the city of Minami Sanriku in Miyagi Prefecture from September 21st to 23rd. I went on a bus from Shinjuku to Sendai and then rented a car from Sendai and drove to Minami Sanriku.
It was such beautiful scenery on the way there but once we arrived at Minami Sanriku what I saw there made me choke up. There was rubble all over the place and the reality of what happened sank in. Once I arrived at my base camp, the local people and other Waseda students who were already there explained the situation to me in further detail.

This is about as different from Tokyo as you can get. A local person was saying “Japan now has a developing country inside it,” and I strongly agree. That day there was a typhoon and we couldn’t go outside so I ended up spending the rest of the day inside talking with the local people or people who had moved from Tokyo to Minami Sanriku.

The second day we went out to clear rubble. There was still a lot of rubble left and I sensed a gap in what the media were representing here. While we were clearing rubble I found cards, plates and many other graphic things and to be honest, I didn’t feel like I could stay there any longer. After clearing some rubble we drove around different parts of Minami Sanriku. We came near what once used to be the local government office. I couldn’t stop crying, it looked like a war-zone. There was nothing but rubble, as if we were bombed by another country.
I went to visit another place which was at 20m above sea level and was shocked that the wave had come up this far. It’s hard to believe it until you see it. Seeing all the trees that have died and gone red from salt water damage, all the bent railings, all the windows that have been destroyed at the middle school, made me realize how big the impact really was.
That evening I had the opportunity to visit a local meeting place which had been set up temporarily, to hear stories from the local people. That night at base camp, again I got to talk with the other volunteers and how they felt about the relationship between Tokyo and Tohoku.

On my last day in Tohoku I went to Ishinomaki. I thought Minami Sanriku was bad but Ishinomaki had been hit terribly too. There were many factories based in Ishinomaki so the fact that this town was hit had a huge impact on the Japanese economy. I realized how dependent Japan was on the Tohoku region.
Some roads were blocked due to the recent typhoon. If these roads can be blocked by a typhoon then there must have been so many more roads blocked by the Tsunami.
I arrived in Tokyo at 11pm.  There was an obvious difference between Tokyo and Minami Sanriku and Ishinomaki. Was this really the same Japan? It felt like a different country to me.

There was a sea of rubble up north. Although people say it’s been cleared there is still much work to be done. It’s not ready for rebuilding any time soon and it will take a while before life goes back to normal. Life in Tokyo has gone back to normal. There’s no damage that the eye can see. However, the government is falling to pieces, problems with the nuclear power plant has appeared to the surface, we are facing a financial crisis and the yen is rising with the euro etc..

I think we as Japanese need to re-map the way we think. It’s about time we change from ”Competition to symbiotic,” “Mass scale production to a more sustainable system,”  “Steering away from economy being the most important thing to valuing culture more,” “Protecting our environment,” “Steering away from materialism and excess.” Life will never go back to the way it was, we need to change.


For those who are wanting to come to Waseda University:
Please study hard. Of course plenty of sleep is important too but please spend the rest of your time studying. If you don’t give up you will see results.

For WiN members:
Please go and visit the disaster zones if you can. Even if it’s just to visit and see the place. Just going and seeing it and feeling it for yourself makes all the difference.
Is you have time and money please go. There’s so much you can only know through going there yourself.

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