International Students' Talk 02

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Stefanie Vanderberg, Bianca Bleicher and Paul Felarca are exchange students from the University of Vienna, where they majored in Japanese Studies.

“…exactly what I wanted.”

Stefanie: We had a choice of three universities and Yokohama City University was my first choice. Other universities offered courses for foreign exchange students which are mostly in English. Here at YCU, we all have to attend classes taught in Japanese. That was exactly what I wanted.

Bianca: I chose YCU on the recommendation of two friends of mine from the University of Vienna, who studied here for one year. They told me that it was a very good place to study abroad and that there were only a few students from Europe, which meant lots of contact with Japanese people. What’s more, the curriculum offers many different kinds of interesting classes.

Paul: I enjoy experiencing and learning the Japanese language by talking with native speakers. The exposure to Japan is what I wanted.

“…I’m free to study what I want…”

Stefanie: I attended Professor Kimura’s geography seminar today. As I’m free to study what I want, I’m focusing on metabolic syndrome in Japan for my thesis which is titled, “Is the westernization of food the cause for the sudden rise of obesity in Japan?”

Bianca: Paul and I attended Japanese Culture Studies.

Stephanie: Today, I also have Human Settlements and Global Awareness with Professor Catherine Nagashima.

Bianca: In addition to my Japanese classes, I will be attending a lecture on mass media in Japan and another on Japanese society.

“I want to try Kyudo.”

Stefanie: I’m not involved in extracurricular activities just yet. I want to start next term in April when the school year starts from in Japan. I want to try Kyudo (Japanese archery).

Paul: I’m currently involved in two extracurricular clubs. The first one is Kaigai Jijyo (Foreign Affairs), and my second one is the English Speaking Society.

Bianca: I want to join one in April. Maybe the Sado (Tea Ceremony) Club. But I’m not sure yet, because in Sado you have to kneel for a long time!

“I love the different aspects of Japanese culture …”

Paul: I’m getting used to living in Japan. Sometimes communication is difficult and there are obviously cultural differences between Europe and Japan. Europeans are more open and Japanese people tend to be shy, making it a bit difficult to start a conversation.

Stefanie: This is my second time here in Japan, but I’m still not used to many things. The language isn’t difficult, but there are so many things you have to keep in mind. Like keigo, the polite form of speech.

Bianca: It’s my second time here, too. I love the different aspects of Japanese culture like Buddhist temples and the geisha tradition. It’s all very fascinating.

“If I could use my Japanese abilities …”

Paul: I want to work for a big company like Google or PayPal. If I could use my Japanese abilities, I would be very happy.

Bianca: Working as a “Japanologist” sounds very interesting to me. Doing research about Japan and writing about the studies… this would be very suitable for me.

Stefanie: I want to work at an international company in the future. It would be great to use my Japanese skills. I just want to get to really know Japanese culture and become more fluent in Japanese.



YCU in the World