Study in Japan Global Network Project in ASEAN

EXPERIENCE IN JAPAN

Student Voice

Chris Tong Cheng Yi

Nationality

Malaysia

University/Institution Name

Okayama University

Department/Faculty

Literature

Period of study abroad

2017-2021

What did you do before studying in Japan?

Foundation in Japanese school in Malaysia

Why did you choose to study in Japan?

I got interested in Japanese since I was a kid, because I am a big fan of Japanese animation. I got my chance to study Japanese after I graduated from my high school, and I found that Japanese is a very interesting language. I hope to study more about Japanese, so I decided to study abroad in Japan.

How did you prepare for studying in Japan? Please tell us about how you found the information on institutions, supervisor, scholarship, and others.

The Japanese school I went to is an institution which supports students who want to study in Japan. My lecturers in that school helped in most of my preparation for studying abroad, including choosing which university I should go, the preparation for the entrance exam, registration for the university and so on. I got my scholarship from JASSO, which is based on my results for EJU.

How is your student life in Japan? Please tell us about your study, research, part-time job, and others.

Study: It was a little harsh at first since it was a totally different environment. I took about a year to get myself used to this new environment and new friends. I was lucky to meet some friends who understand my situation and be patience to me, teaching me about life in Japan. The Faculty of Literature provides 8 different fields such as History, Psychology, Geology and so on. I chose Linguistics as my major, but I still able to take another field’s lecture. Lectures in the university was challenging but interesting. I got my chance to study more about Japanese and improve my Japanese skills.
Part-time job: I have my part-time job in the university’s cafeteria. It is near my apartment, and I got free meals after my shift. Moreover, they do employ some foreign students and it is a relaxing environment to work. Every worker in the cafeteria is kind and friendly. We usually have “Nomi-kai” (drinking in Izakaya) together and visit each other often. I even found someone who share the same hobby, and we got really close. We even traveled together to Tokyo and Oita.
Club Activity: I joined Glee club, which is a choir with more than 100 members. We practice 3 times a week and our final goal is the performance we will hold in every December. It is a club which accepts foreign students, and every member in the club is very nice and friendly. They treat me like family, and it is very fun to sing with them.

Any message and/or advice to those who wish to study in Japan?

“Nobody will regret going study abroad”. It is a slogan of a poster of Okayama University, encouraging students to go study abroad, and I found that it is true. Leaving your own country and start a new life in other country might sound challenging and full of anxiety. However, you will learn a lot and make yourself more mature. Even though you cannot speak fluent Japanese or know nothing about Japanese culture, if you wish to study in Japan, try to take a step forward. Do not hesitate if you have the chance to fulfill your dream.

My 1-day

7:00 wake up
7:30 breakfast
8:20 go to university
8:30 arrive at university
8:40 start the class
13:10 lunch
14:00 club activity
17:00 part-time-job at cafeteria
20:30 finish the part-time-job
21:00 go home
21:30 revision / hobby time
00:00 sleep

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