An international person: Martin, a J. F. Oberlin R. J. Student

Martin came to J. F. Oberlin as an exchange student, because he has been interested in Japanese traditional things since his friend told him how great Japan is. Martin comes from Slovakia, and studied at the University of Silesia, where he majored in marketing. One of the reasons why he came to Japan is that he thought Japan is an “exotic country”, as it is different from other Asian countries. For example, Japan has been progressing more economically than other Asian countries, and Japanese culture, such as ‘Manga’ (comic books) are famous all over the World. However Japanese culture is not entirely understood by foreign people. Another reason for his coming to Japan is that there are many temples in Japan, and he is interested in Buddhism. He wants to travel to Kyoto and visit many temples. Japanese classes were available at his university in Slovakia, so he could have studied the language there. Nevertheless, he chose to come and study in Japan because he thought that it would be a better environment for studying the language, and learning the language.

Martin is a student on the Reconnaissance Japan (R.J.) Program at J. F. Oberlin university, which is located in Tokyo.

Links: J. F. Oberlin University English web site, and Japanese web site. Reconnaissance Japan Program official web site.

Martin thinks that J. F. Oberlin has many advantages, compare to his home university. One of these is that many international students study at J. F. Oberlin, so he can learn about other countries’ cultures, as well as Japan. Here at J. F. Oberlin he can meet people from Korea, China, the United Kingdom, America, and many other countries. He thinks that most of professors are great, because they are so friendly and easy to talk to. A big difference between his home university and J. F. Oberlin is the support for students’ future lives. J. F. Oberlin has a support system to help students find a job after graduating. There are internships, and classes to prepare for getting licenses or attaining high scores in tests, such as bookkeeping tests or TOEFL. However Martin thinks that J. F. Oberlin’s school fees are very high, nevertheless the university’s system is comfortable for him.

Martin is satisfied with his Japanese life. He has been staying in a Japanese family’s house, and his host family is very kind. However he has some trouble communicating, because he had never studied Japanese before coming to Japan. Also he has difficulty with kanji, so he studies Japanese hard. According to Martin, his Japanese classes is are very good. In his free time, he enjoys reading books, listening to music, and playing the acoustic guitar. Martin has made a lot of international friends, and enjoys his Japanese life.

Martin has some messages for people who considering coming to study in Japan. He says, “Do not be afraid”, and that you should be prepared to do things by yourself. He also thinks you should research the differences between your home country and Japan. When he came to Japan he was surprised about earthquakes and crowded trains, and wished he researched Japan more before coming. He thinks that too strong a belief in a particular religion can sometimes limit peoples’ lives, so having an open mind about religion when you come to Japan will help you learn about other cultures. Martin is very flexible, and is truly an international person.

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