Student Interviews

Ms. Harlene Obcemea Tupaz

Ms. Harlene Obcemea Tupaz

  • Manila, Philippines
  • School of Global Japanese Studies

Q. Why did you choose Japan and Meiji University?

My parents are very fond of Japan. I have visited Japan several times since childhood. Supported by my parents, I began to study Japanese at a language school for two years after graduating from high school, and I passed the entrance exam for foreign students of Meiji University. I got to know about Meiji University through a teacher at the language school first. I chose Meiji University because I heard that it had many English-taught classes. There really are many English-speaking professors in Meiji University, and I think the quality of the classes is very high.

Q. Tell us about your campus life at Meiji University.

There are substantial supporting systems for foreign students in Meiji University. I was able to start my campus life without any trouble. There are many events organized by Campus Mate, which is an international exchange group, and International Lounges, which is open for international students and any other students who wish to study abroad or make friends from other countries. Thanks to these events and facilities, I was able to make friends quickly. In the future I will take a more active part in the university’s events, like participation in the university festival and activities to support foreign students.

Q. About Japanese language

I feel keigo and kanji are especially difficult. I was positive about my Japanese language ability when I was at the language school. I feel Japanese is more difficult than I did before, because in university a higher level of Japanese ability is required. For example, writing a report, taking a written test, and others. I have a lot of friends who speak English well. That impels me to talk in English more frequently than Japanese.

Q. What are your plans for the future?

I wish to be involved in international activities making use of my experience of intercultural communications and my English ability. In the Philippines, there is a large gap between rich and poor compared with Japan, and the educational gap is a big problem. I’d like to try to work in Japan, but even in that case, I will return to my country eventually and work on educational problems.

Q. How do you like life in Japan?

Buildings in Japan are clean and modern. Also, there are so many parks in the city, enabling you to be in close contact with nature. I think people in Japan treasure their culture and traditional arts. If you stay only in your own country, you may sometimes forget the importance of your country’s culture. Studying abroad will remind you of the love you have for your own country.

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