- Motto: Being myself
- Country of origin: Japan
- Situation: Alumni (finished studying in the Czech Republic)
- Higher education institution: Masaryk University
- Field of study: social sciences
- Level of study: One year exchange program (2019-2020)
What made you decide to study in the Czech Republic?
From academic perspective, I was interested in migration and refugee issues in EU, and I found that Masaryk University in Brno offers a wide variety of social science courses in English. Moreover, I adored historical and cultural backgrounds of Czech and wanted to have firsthand experience.
Did your studies meet your expectations? How did you find the study programme, instructors, university facilities? Were there any differences from studying in your country?
Yes, it was beyond my expectation. The courses allowed me to deepen my knowledge about Central and Eastern European countries, which I had less opportunity to learn in Japan. Also, there were many interactive events organized by universities and student government that allowed me to interact with other students from around the world.
What was the biggest surprise with regard to studying or living in the Czech Republic?
The price of living was very low compared to Japan. In particular, I was so surprised to find out discount programs for students , including transportation, restaurants, and even theaters.
What was your most memorable experience or what did you enjoy most as a student in the Czech Republic?
Going to theaters to appreciate opera and ballet as part of everyday lives. Since I was interested in appreciating traditional performance arts, it was a wonderful experience for me to going to theater weekly with student discounts. Also, it was a good memory to feel kindness of a lady at the ticket office even though my Czech language skills was not high.
How do you think your time in the Czech Republic has helped your studies and/or your career?
Coming from Japan, where people are obsessed with working, it was eye-opening to see how Czech people also cherish their time spending with families and friends. I learned that work is only a part of our lives, which helped me feel less stress from job hunting. Also, many Czech students decided their academic or occupational careers based on their interests, not caring for what others may think about it. Thus, I realized the another ways to select and enjoy my life through my experience in Czech.
Do you have any advice for students thinking about studying in the Czech Republic?
Even though Czech Republic is still not famous in Japan, I really enjoyed my time there. Considering about living cost and study environment, I am confident that many Japanese students can have fruitful learning experience in Czech Republic. As for an advice, I recommend students to learn historical and cultural background of this country before leaving Japan, because it would allow you to see the city from different perspectives.