Embracing Cultural Diversity – A Reflection of Studying Dual Master Degree in Japan

Source: College of Biomedical Engineering

Published on 2024-01-09

In 2022, Guo Rui-Ji, a student from the Graduate Institute of Nanomedicine and Medical Engineering, embarked on her journey to the Tokyo University of Science to study an annual dual degree program.

Guo was having an interview with Professor Soga Kohei

Guo recalled the uncertainty in her mind while preparing to study abroad since Japan was not open for foreigners due to COVID-19. Fortunately, Japan finally made it accessible for international students in March 2022. Although it had been postponed for half a year, Guo finally started her study at Professor Soga Kohei’s lab at Tokyo University of Science.

Reflecting on her experience, Guo shared the challenges she faced while catching up with her academic lessons and adapting to the unfamiliar living environment. Japan’s unique academic calendar start month and the distinct seasons were the most challenging to Guo. It took her four months to fully blend in with the lifestyle of Japan.

Guo was discussing with Professor Soga Kohei]

Despite the initial struggles, she gained the chance to experience Japanese culture and build cross-cultural friendships besides academic achievement. Guo noted that it was her first time to live far away from people she knew. Although she felt a strong sense of loneliness, she became more independent. Unexpectedly, aside from merely academic achievement, Guo discovered the beauty of bonding connections and embracing diverse cultural encounters during the period in Japan.

This enriching experience left a vibrant imprint on Guo’s student life which led her to encourage other intended international students not to hesitate but to seize the opportunity to study abroad and embrace the invaluable lessons that aren’t in textbooks.