JAPAN ALUMNI ENEWS: Introduction of Current International Students

The reason I chose Japan as a place to study was to make use of my language skills while studying more in a field different to my undergraduate degree. As an undergraduate, I majored in the Japanese language and spent a year in Japan as an exchange student. At that time, I got to experience the comfort of life in Japan as well as the rich learning environment it offers, and decided I would like to come back to study.

When I first arrived in Japan, it was a sunny summer’s day. The moment I stepped out of the plane, I saw a clear blue sky and a bright sun shining down. It was amazing, just like a scene from a drama. The airport and the town are both very neat and tidy, and I was left with the impression that Japan is a very clean place.

At the moment, I’m researching Applied Optimization at the University of Tsukuba Graduate School. This is about researching algorithms and methods to find the optimal results or solution methods for actual issues related to services or production by constructing mathematical models. I work with companies to develop systems that show cooking procedures that even inexperienced cooks can ensure the quality of the food they offer. I realized that working with companies requires much higher levels of precision in words and actions as well as quick grasp for learning new things, and so provided a daily motivation for me to be able to grow.

“My favorite Japanese food has got to be sushi. There are two reasons for this. One is that I just love the sublime flavors as the fish melts inside my mouth.”

My favorite place in Japan is Kamakura. It’s a very attractive place. I had a chance to visit the historic shrines and temples, wander down Komachi-dori eating delicious foods, and stroll along the Yuigahama Coast. The view of the sunset as I strolled along the beach gazing at Enoshima and Mt. Fuji really left an impression. The setting sun, and the sound of the waves were so relaxing. I was really moved.

My favorite Japanese food has got to be sushi. There are two reasons for this. One is that I just love the sublime flavors as the fish melts inside my mouth. The other is that they look so simple but the ingredients are carefully selected, and the process is so complex. Things like the pressure you use to mold the rice and how you control it to reach body temperature are really fascinating. I really respect the training a sushi chef undertakes, with like three years of just cooking rice, then eight years of shaping it, as well as their passion for making such delicious food. My dream for the future is to be a top professional in the IT field. I want to change as many lives as possible by personally providing the world with new services that utilize IT.

If I had to give any advice to anyone considering studying in Japan, it would be that leaving your family and friends and living alone in Japan to study can be a lonely time, so you have to learn how to become independent, rather than rely on others too much. Also, at Japanese schools, you get a lot of freedom in terms of your life as a student, as well as your study and research. That means that everyone gets something different from their time studying in Japan. So you need to set goals before coming to Japan, then refine them as you go along with your studies here. By the time you finish, what you’ve learned over here can be of use in your future life.

Reprint of Mar 2018 issue of Japan Alumni eNews by JASSO:
Japan Student Services Organization

Name: Zhou Jieying

Nationality: Chinese

University in Japan: University of Tsukuba Graduate School

Major: Policy and Planning Sciences

Year: 2nd year (Master’s)

Period of Stay in Japan: October 2015 to present

Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1


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