Paul Cezanne Aix-Marseille 3, France
When did you start studying Japanese?
I began in my third year at university because I wanted to come here, and I like Japan. When I was child, I liked Manga and anime a lot and there are lots of Japanese cultures in Manga, so learning Japanese language could help me to understand Japan. But when I came here I knew some basics but I felt like a beginner, so I attended the introductory level "A" class for Japanese at Chuo.
Why did you choose Tokyo and Chuo?
I could choose other universities, such as Doshisha in Kyoto or another private school in Fukuoka, but Chuo seemed better as it offers more courses such as economic management, social studies, and cultural studies. I could read many reports from previous students. I am taking classes in policy studies because they offer them in English. In addition, I am taking eight Japanese classes and two other classes; "Environment and Politics" and "Global Environmental Governance". They are not for credits, but I took them for experience as they are related to my studies.
Where do you live?
I live in the International House dorm, but I am moving to the Chuo apartments at Seiseki Sakuragaoka. I liked the International House because I could meet many people in the lounge there, but I would like a bit more privacy.
What is your impression of Japan?
I am perplexed still. Before I came, I expected some surprises and disappointments, but especially relationships with Japanese people are a bit strange. I can speak with them and understand them but sometimes I feel like an alien. Japanese are trained to see people from outside Japan as different.
Any advice for students coming to Japan?
Well, I still need an advice! But my advice would be to say just go to Japan.
Now that you have seen other universities in Japan what is your impression of Chuo?
It is good and convenient. The student associations, like Sputnik, are very helpful, and student groups are good. Courses taught in English are good, too, and you can study topics in English and in Japanese. Also, the International Center gave me opportunities to visit an elementary school to talk to children, which was quite fun, and I also tried "Zazen" meditation at a temple in Hachioji, though I can't really "empty my mind," yet!