Student Interviews

Mr. Lai Lihui

Mr. Lai Lihui

Guangdong, China
Department of Life Sciences, School of Agriculture
Q. Why did you choose Japan and Meiji University?

In my home province of Guangdong in China, there are many Japanese companies, such as Honda and Toyota, so I have had a sense of familiarity with Japan since I was small. When I graduated from junior college in China, I decided on overseas study in Japan and came here. Meiji University is well-known as the university where Zhou Enlai, a former famous Prime Minister in China, pursued his studies abroad, and I chose Meiji University for my overseas studies also.

Q. What are you currently studying?

I studied Chinese herbal medicine during my time at junior college in China, and I thought I would like to pursue food safety, which is related, and therefore entered the Department of Life Sciences. In Life Sciences, we research biological and organizational structures relating to animals and plants down to the molecular level, and learn how these can be helpful in terms of current food and environmental issues. We carry out experiments twice a week, such as animal and plant testing, and then perform data analysis using computers. In future, in addition to these tests, it is planned to start microorganism experiments.

Q. What are the differences between university in China and university in Japan?

The biggest difference is that all accommodation at Chinese universities is in dormitories. Everyone eats and lives together and so it feels somewhat like an extension of high school. In comparison to that, at Japanese university you can enroll in subjects that you like, and can enroll in classes that take place at a time you like, and so you can create and make use of your own time. At the moment, we have a lot of experiments, but I am able to make use of free time to write up my reports and every day is fulfilling.

Q. Message to prospective students of Meiji University

When you come to Japan, study Japanese well. There are many students studying overseas who have part-time jobs that take up their time and they don’t find time to study Japanese, but if you don’t study Japanese properly, it is very difficult to follow the classes. I think that doing a part-time job is OK once you have got used to Japanese life. If you do take a part-time job, I recommend that you take a job where only Japanese is used. I also have a part-time job at a Japanese ramen noodle restaurant at the weekends, and since starting the job, I have been able to learn Japanese that I don’t use in my university life, which has been very useful to me.

Q. What are your plans for the future?
When I graduate from university, I want to get a job in a Japanese pharmaceutical or food company. I think that the Japanese approach to the safety of medical products and food products is excellent, and it would be great if I could have a job in which I protect the safety of products that go into people’s mouths in this kind of environment. Then, in the future I plan to return to China and make use of my experience in Japan to start up my own company.

Ms. Kim Hye Lin

Ms. Kim Hye Lin

Seoul, South Korea
Department of Agricultural Chemistry, School of Agriculture

Q. Why did you choose Japan and Meiji University?

When I was a fourth grade student in elementary school, I lived for a year in Shizuoka, Japan, due to my father coming here for work. I couldn’t speak any Japanese at all then, but my teachers and classmates were extremely kind to me and that memory remained with me. I strongly felt that I would like to live in Japan again some day, and after graduating from high school, I came to Japan and studied at a Japanese language school. I wanted to study general sciences at university, and was looking for a suitable school when I found out about the Department of Agricultural Chemistry in the School of Agriculture at Meiji University. I took the open campus class in August, which was extremely interesting and decided to enroll at Meiji University.

What are you currently studying?

When I was a high school student, there was an event called the Chemical Science Festival that I participated in with friends from my club, and we received an award. From that, I developed an interest in chemistry and went on to study agricultural chemistry, which is related to foodstuffs. At the moment I am learning, through experiments, how agricultural chemistry relates to our lives, our foods and our medicines. I am very busy every day with experiments and writing up reports, but all the experiments are very interesting and that makes it enjoyable.

Q. Have you made many Japanese friends?

There are not many overseas students on the Ikuta campus, and mostly Japanese students all around, but my classmates are very easy to get to know and I was able to fit in immediately. I am now fully enjoying my Japanese life where we study and talk together all the time. When I was in the first year, I was not used to university life and the studies and things were busy, but recently I have been able to make more time, and about a month ago, I started a part-time job at a Japanese coffee shop. Learning a job is very hard, but I have more chances to meet with Japanese people and I think it is a valuable experience.

Q. Message to prospective students of Meiji University.

When choosing a university, I recommend that where possible you go to the open campus of the universities you are interested in. The Meiji University open campus was excellent, and it was a big help when choosing both the university and the faculty. Information about open campuses varies depending on the school and it is therefore important to check things on the Internet and so on.

Q. What are your plans for the future?
The safety of foods and cosmetics is attracting a lot of attention, and I want to research and develop foods and cosmetics that are good for our bodies. Recently, interest is particularly high with regard to foodstuffs, and I hope to find a job at a food company and to develop safe foods that can be eaten with reassurance.

Mr. Yang Fenghua

Mr. Yang Fenghua

China
Department of Agriculture, School of Agriculture
Q. Why did you choose Japan and Meiji University?
My father suggested studying overseas when I was a first-grade high school student. At that time, I was interested in Japanese sub-culture such as anime and manga, and I thought I would like to experience those aspects of Japanese culture firsthand. I also had some knowledge of the Japanese language and so decided on Japan for my study abroad.
My father’s words “Agriculture is an important field of learning that supports mankind” made an impression on me, and I decided to pursue agricultural sciences. Despite its name, the School of Agriculture is in the city, which appealed to me, and because Meiji University has a comprehensive university curriculum, I believed that I could also study the areas of “sub-culture” in which I am interested while pursuing my agricultural studies, and therefore I chose Meiji University.
At the moment, I am studying the history of the agricultural industry and of agricultural sciences and am finding it very interesting. I believe my father’s words to me before coming to study here were certainly not mistaken.

Q. What are you currently studying?
Currently, I am studying food production-related fields, in which we learn about crops and microorganisms through the study of food crop science, the science of soil and plant nutrition, plant pathology and so on. I am also studying environment-related fields, where we learn about afforestation and environmental preservation through the study of global environmental planning, landscape engineering and the like. Among these studies, I find Professor Kazushige Nakabayashi’s classes in the science of soil and plant nutrition particularly interesting, where he teaches us the knowledge necessary to increase food production while supplying just the necessary amount of nutrients for crops, with reference to historical changes in fertilizers, and effective methods of use of modern chemical fertilizers. Professor Nakabayashi livens up his classes with the use of gadgets related to his subject and his lessons are very easy to understand. Japanese language lessons are also very interesting, where I discover something new every time.

Q. What are the differences between university in China and university in Japan?
Based on what I hear from my friends attending university in China, Japanese university is tougher, including homework, and it seems to me that there is more “freedom” at Chinese universities.

Q. Did you have any anxiety before coming to study in Japan?
Before I came to Japan, I was constantly worried that my Japanese would not be understood. Even though I was intending to say a certain thing, if the reaction of the person I was speaking to was not encouraging, I would reassess my pronunciation and once more think about what I was trying to say. This was a common occurrence. Since coming to Japan, my anxiety about Japanese is gradually decreasing.

Q. What are your plans for the future?
I want to use the knowledge of agricultural sciences that I have gained at Meiji University to own and manage my own commercial farm in my home country of China.

Q. Message to prospective students of Meiji University.
In order to make the most of life as a foreign student, first, I think it is necessary to study Japanese properly. On top of that, I think it is also necessary to learn the accepted norms and manners of Japanese society. I myself studied at Japanese language school before entering Meiji University, which helped me be more confident in Japanese, enabled me to make Japanese friends soon after entering university, and also meant that I could understand the classes.

Mr. Ding Yifan

Mr. Ding Yifan

Henan, China
Department of Agri-food and Environmental Policy, School of Agriculture

Q. Why did you choose Japan and Meiji University?
Two of my aunts are living in Japan, and my uncle is a graduate of the Meiji University School of Commerce. I decided I also wanted to go to Japan, and I came here as soon as I graduated from high school. I went to Japanese language school for a year and then, when I decided that I wanted to follow a specialized course of studies, I found out about the Department of Agri-food and Environmental Policy at Meiji University, from where my uncle graduated, and decided to continue my studies there.

Q. What are you currently studying?
In China, the economic situation is advancing rapidly and quality of life is improving, while concerns about food safety are increasing. Japanese technology in relation to food hygiene and so on is excellent, and I chose the “Department of Agri-food and Environmental Policy” in order to study that. At the moment, I am a first year student and still have to study a lot of the basics, but in the future, I plan to pursue more specialized studies into food safety and risks, into food self sufficiency and into the relationships between cities and agricultural villages etc.

Q. Did you have any anxiety about coming to study in Japan?
My aunts lived in Japan, so I was not particularly anxious about anything. However, when I first came to Japan, I struggled in various instances because I couldn’t speak any Japanese at all. In those instances, I was impressed by the kindness of the people who helped me. I am living alone at the moment, and now that I have got used to university life, I am looking for a part-time job. My intention is to improve my Japanese by putting myself in a situation where I have to speak Japanese.

Q. Message to prospective students of Meiji University.
My main advice is to definitely study Japanese. I think that your understanding of university classes will change depending on whether you can understand Japanese or not. One way to study Japanese is to go to Japanese language school, but I think it is also important to make many Japanese friends by taking a part-time job or joining in club activities and so on.

Q. What are your plans for the future?
I think Japan’s high level of knowledge in relation to food is excellent, and after graduation, I hope to put my 4 years of university study to use and find work in the Japanese food industry. After gaining experience there, I want to return to China in the future and find a job in which I protect food safety in my own country. At that time, I hope to deal not only with food, but also to pass on in China the excellence of Japanese service, which I experience daily here.

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