<<  June 2013  >>


  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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Recollecting experiences of Exchange Programme at Waseda

Name: Ambika Kamat 
Home Institute: Parvatibai Chowgule College, Goa, India
Part of Exchange Programme between Waseda University, Japan and Chowgule College, India


First from the right

Summary of Overall Experience:

I visited Waseda University in November 2012 as a part of Programme between Waseda
University, Japan and Chowgule College, India. I am interested in learning about Japanese
culture, so this programme served as a golden opportunity for experiencing the same and
getting first hand information about the culture. Through this programme I could get a glimpse
of various aspects of Japan including its language, religion, society and most importantly its
people. Attending regular lectures helped to gain knowledge about academics, teaching aids
and methods, student life and campus facilities at Waseda. Visits to different, culturally
significant sites complemented this knowledge.

Academics and Campus activities at Waseda:


Attending regular lectures on diverse topics like Socio-linguistics, Gender Dynamics,
Contemporary performing arts, Water landscapes at Kyoto, Japanese Intellectual History,  
Japanese history etc helped me in gaining vital subject knowledge. From these lectures, the
ones which I liked the most were “The Great East Japan Earthquake” by Mr. Yamaguchi and
“Shinto in Japanese history and culture” by Prof. Watt.

These lectures also helped me understand the teaching tools and methods used by the
faculty to enhance interest of students in the subject matter and its comprehension.  

Being on campus provided me a chance to interact with students. These daily interactions
revealed subtle differences in the academic structure and inspired me to compare facts like
duration of undergraduate programme at Waseda and Chowgules (it being 4 years in the
former and 3 years in the latter) similarly choice of subjects; specializations; various
departments; job hunting; credits, papers and semesters; curriculum; mode of grading
and assignments.  

Extension activities on Campus:

☆ Visit to Writing Centre:

During the programme I also visited the Writing Centre at Waseda. Here, the Director of the
Centre, Prof. Sadoshima (who also inspired the establishment and working of Writing
Centre in Chowgules) explained the very concept of Writing Centre, highlighting the notion
that “Writing Centre helps to improve the writing of the student through discussion and
suggestions rather than mechanically editing the work.”  

Having worked as student tutor myself in Chowgules for two months, interacting with the
student tutors at Waseda added to my knowledge of tools and techniques employed by
tutors to help students solve their writing problems.

☆ Students’ clubs: cherishing traditions passed on from generations to generations:

“Students’  clubs” was one of the concepts that I personally liked the most. This is because
they play an essential role in preserving the culture at the same time giving it a form of a
hobby, helping students relax their minds, relieving stress of study, gaining credits for the
efforts put in and encouraging students to invest their leisure in learning something artistic. 

Two such clubs that at Waseda were “The Tea Ceremony Study Club” and “The Dance Club”
The former treasures the custom of Tea Ceremony, allowing students to learn the
sophisticated tea serving skills (which I enjoyed lot : rotating the cup, savoring the Matcha tea,
appreciating the beautiful designs on tea bowls, pillows that too in a very traditional Japanese
room with Tatami mats … Oh! it was heaven). The later is mainly concerned with teaching
Soran bushi (the Fishermen Dance from Hokkaido) Experience there too was fun!  

☆ Tour to Nishi-Waseda Campus of Science and Engineering:

Touring the Nishi-Waseda campus of Science and Engineering was fabulous.  “Techy” air
was around with all robots surrounding me. All of these innovative gadgets were created by
students of the institute. The space that I liked here was the workshop where students could
be seen working with their models. I guess intelligent and dedicated students like these are
the key to Japan’s technological progress.  

☆ American football Game:

“Big bears playing against the Unicorn” was an amazing sight! An eye on the ever changing
scores, the team anthems playing and audience shouting and cheering constituted the
complete sporty day! Victory to Waseda was the ultimate treat!

Experiencing Japanese culture:

☆ Visits to culturally significant sites:

Visiting culturally significant sites like Shin-Edogawa Park, Hut of well-known poet Basho,
Meiji Shrine, Sensouji Temple, Asakusa and Edo-Tokyo Museum complemented my cultural
experience. Life-size statues; replica of structures of Edo Period; swords and armours of
Samurais; ancient books and scroll depicting stories were superb. Their intricate decorations,
artistic value and fine execution were fascinating. (Most importantly, I got an awesome guide
of more than 80 years of age yet, so knowledgeable and fluent in English…. She knew almost
entire history related to each and every piece of art in the museum… I wish I could spend a
whole day in there!!!)  


☆ Social values, manners and etiquettes:

Values like punctuality, self-discipline, orderliness, credibility, kindness, humility and
amicability found among Japanese people are highly appreciable. Their aesthetic sense,
ability to innovate, constant improvisation, dedication and loyalty at work is strikingly amazing.
I think these values that are engrained in the culture and inculcated by society make Japan
one of the safest nations in the world.

☆ Norimaki Party:  Savoring Home cuisine with Prof. Sadoshima:

I got an opportunity to visit Prof. Sadoshima’s house and cook Temaki-zushi!! There was a
huge variety of sushi with vibrant appetizing and delicious fillings. I feel, no word other than
“Oiishii” can describe its taste. 

Those moments spent cooking and relishing Japanese home cuisine would be cherished
for lifetime by me. In addition we had two interesting rounds of Bingo and lovely gifts for the victors.   


☆ Some tranquil moments spent experiencing Japanese Buddhism

- My Kamakura trip:

After my first busy week in Japan, I had a free day on 10th November. Being interested in history
and religion I decided to go to Kamakura. I was fortunate to have the company of Mr. Yamaguchi,
Manager, Centre for International Education, who agreed to guide me after requesting at the last
moment. We were also joined by Tamaki Nogawa.  Beginning with travel in the famous small
train of Enoshima known as the Enoden, the trip consisted of visit to a series of temples starting
with the Kotokuin temple also known as the temple of great Buddha or Daibutsu; which was
followed by Hasedera temple; Tsurugaoka Hachimangu the temple of the guardian god of the
samurais; Hokokuji, the Bamboo temple and Kenchoji temple, where we practiced Zen
meditation for one hour (it was a purifying spiritual experience with the sonorous rhythm of
bells and fragrance of incense) This trip spiritually enriched me. 

I and Tamaki san also tried our hands at calligraphy by tracing a sutra written in Kanji. It was
a "dream come true" for me as I had been waiting for so long, to visit atleast one Japanese
temple. I encountered a lot of similarities in the religious and social practices followed in
Indian and Japanese temples like washing hands with water as a sign of purification, ringing
the bell to get the attention of deity, using lucky charms for prosperity, fortune telling in the temple
premises etc. (I am grateful to Prof. Sadoshima and Mr. Yamaguchi for arranging such a great
trip for me.)


- Visit to Shinnyo-en Temple: 

Secondly, another optional visit was to the Shinnyo-en Temple which was yet another alleviating
experience. Thanks to Prof. Sadoshima, I could experience a different sect of Japanese
Buddhism. This sect was founded 76 years ago and reveres the Nirvana Sutra and the last
teachings of Buddha. The reclining golden Buddha and the Bodhisattvas were beautiful and
Learning Kanji through signboards on station is another experience I am going to treasure for

India Day: Zenith of cultural exchange

Cultural exchange is a two way process. Just as one should be eager to learn about the new
culture, he/she should also be equally well-versed with the beliefs, values, customs and traditions
of one’s own culture. It is only then that a fair exchange is possible. One should also possess
a rational mind able to draw a comparison between the said cultures and a sensitive heart open
to new ideas. Indeed, the India Day at Okuma Garden House proved to be one such occasion of
cultural exchange.

Presenting our Indian culture in a nutshell through the various entertaining programmes ranging
from Classical music and Dance to Bollywood songs and folk performances was a great
experience again. Audience could also taste Indian snacks while enjoying the event.  Satisfaction
that one gets after exchanging two equally profound cultures is beyond the expression through

Last but not the least, I am extremely thankful to the entire faculty, staff members and students
of Waseda (especially, Prof. Sadoshima, Mr. Yamaguchi, Ms. Tanabe, Mr. Egashira,
Ms. Kashiwazaki and students of SILS), who were ready to help at any moment and made my
trip to Japan comfortable and memorable.


Indian Cultural Night

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