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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
    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:Aug, 2016

The Opportunity of a Lifetime

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Name:
Livija Berzins
Home Institute
: The Australian National University
Enrollment year and status at Waseda University:
Waseda Summer Session, June-July 2016



I had briefly been to Japan once when I was quite young, but I could barely remember any of it, so I was quite excited to experience Japan more thoroughly. But I come from a small regional town, and was therefore completely unprepared for the massive size and population of Tokyo. On my first day I stood in the middle of Shibuya Crossing, amazed and admittedly a little bit daunted by the sheer number of people that surrounded me – I later found out that more people cross at a single light change than the entire population of my town! I realised that each of these people had a life as intricate as mine, and I suddenly felt very small. In that moment, my entire existence was put into perspective - for the first time I think I fully appreciated that I really was only one tiny person amongst 7 billion people in the whole entire world. Putting things into perspective really became a recurring theme of my experience at the Waseda Summer Session, from what I learnt in my classes, to what I learnt from all the people I met and from the things I did during my time in Tokyo.
 
Despite my minor existential crisis on day one, nothing could curb my excitement. On the first day of the session I was very impressed with the university campus, which boasts beautiful gardens and integrates almost seamlessly into the city, and the student interns and staff were really friendly. The classes I took were History 1, Politics 3 and Japanese 1. They were of the perfect difficulty; challenging enough to be interesting, but relaxed enough to be enjoyable. History 1 was focused on the history of contemporary Japan from 1989 onwards, which proved to be very useful in helping us to understand the current economic, social and historical context of where we were living for the month. In Politics 2 we learned about Japan’s role on the international stage, and it was fascinating to explore Japan’s complex relations with countries such as China, Korea and the US, with a focus on apology politics. Japanese language classes were intensive, but everything we learned was very practical, and we could immediately put what we learned in the classroom to use in everyday life. These classes were very valuable because they helped me to put everything I saw in Tokyo into context, and provided me with a more meaningful experience outside the classroom. I also came to appreciate the incredible global significance of Japan’s history and actions as an international player, which I know will provide me with a valuable perspective and a deeper understanding of many global issues as I continue my degree in Australia.
 

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The timetable was structured so that we had plenty of time to explore Tokyo, and the classes incorporated field trips. On field trips, I was able to see the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, the Edo Tokyo Museum, the Kanto Earthquake Memorial Museum and the Tokyo Museum of Nature and Science. The teachers were extremely knowledgeable and I learnt a lot of valuable information about my surroundings on these field trips that I otherwise could never have known without them.

We were given plenty of opportunities to socialise with the other students, and I made friends from all over the world. I had lots of time to see the sights of Tokyo and many of my fondest memories of my trip are from sightseeing with the wonderful friends I made. Some of the things I did during the Summer Session included visiting the Pokemon Center with a group of people I had only just met straight after the orientation, going to the top of Tokyo Skytree, spending an afternoon in the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen National Park, shopping at the famous shopping centre Shibuya 109, and having a really fun night at karaoke –until they handed us a bill far bigger than we had initially intended it to be!
 

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A real highlight was the field trip to Nikko. It was refreshing to see the more rural side of Japan and the temperature was much cooler in the mountains. On the first day of the field trip we were taken to see the Nikko Tosho-gu shrine, which was one of the most amazing and intricate structures I have ever seen. Staying in a traditional-style hotel in a room with a group of other students was really fun, and we were served a very delicious meal for dinner that night, with the whole group eating all together. On the second day I chose to visit Nikko Edo Wonderland, which was a fun insight into what Japan might have looked like in the Edo period.
 

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By the end of the trip, Tokyo was really beginning to feel like home. I realised by this point that even though so many people live there, the scale of it is not so big as to render everything impersonal, as I had initially thought. I recognised some of the people who made the morning commute from around my residence, I knew my way around campus and became able to recognise the staff that I saw daily, and the man who sold bubble tea on the street corner just before I got home even knew my order by heart! I was touched by the kindness and warmth I received from the people of Japan, from people I saw almost daily to total strangers on the street. I was sad to leave, but I definitely know that I will visit Japan again. I will really miss all the wonderful friends, teachers and staff that I came to know over the course of the session. I am so grateful and honoured that I was chosen to take part, and I would like to say a big thank you to all the staff at Waseda who made everyone’s experience so fun and rewarding!
 
The Waseda Summer Session has given me an invaluable understanding of Japanese life, culture and perspectives, the opportunity to meet some incredible people, and a set of wonderful memories that I will treasure for life.
 

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