A Day in the Life of an International Student at Kyoto University

8:50 Commuting

8:50 Commuting

VOICE

It takes about 10 minutes from my dormitory to the school by bicycle. I always ride bicycle enjoying the beautiful landscape to school. One of the reasons to love living in Kyoto is the beauty of landscape. In particular, the waterfront landscape is very amazing. For example, the Kamo river near the university, is very popular for walking spots.
Among the seasons, I love spring and autumn the most. Japan is very famous for autumn leaves color change, and I am sure that we can see the most beautiful view in Kyoto. Even though it is very hot in summer, summer is the best season for going to the beach. For me, Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan, is the best place and very beautiful. It is very near from Kyoto. We can reach there in 30 minutes by train. I visit there with my friends for swimming and BBQ every year.

9:00 Research (the laboratory)

  • 9:00 Research (the laboratory)
  • 9:00 Research (the laboratory)

VOICE

I research about the deforestation of mangrove forests in Myanmar. Mangrove forest is very valuable for us because mangrove forest can protect from wave action and provide the shelter for terrestrial life and aquatic life, food for marine ecosystems and fuel, building materials and medicines for human beings. That’s why I have been very interested in mangrove forest and chosen for my study. Now, I can do the research which I have been wanting to do before entering this university, including fieldwork. The laboratory is very comfortable for me. All my fellow students are friendly. Professor Kanzaki, my academic adviser, always gives me the valuable guidelines for my research.

We have been avidly working toward the acceptance of more international students to the university.
In my laboratory, 12 of the 22 students are international. Having half of the students being international seems to be uncommon, even at Kyoto University. We receive many applications from local universities, institutions and forestry service administrations in Asia, which we visit frequently for fieldwork. Increasing the number of international students is one of Kyoto University’s main goals. Recently, Kyoto University worked with universities worldwide to create student exchange programs such as the Double-Degree Program and Single-Degree Program. Our laboratory has accepted three Double Master’s Degree Course students. The Graduate School of Agriculture would like to accept more international students especially from developing countries in Asia and Africa.
Please develop a wider perspective and network beyond our border.
In our research field, Forest Resources and Society, we study the coexistence of forests and humans by examining forest conservation. Every country treats forests differently. For example, at the border of Laos and Thailand, the border dividing the countries can be seen from an airplane due to the difference in forest management between the two. However, there is also a commonality between the forest history of each country; for example, problems that occurred 200 years ago in Japan have been accelerating in Southeast Asia in recent decades, and problems in resource limitation that Japan had in the Edo period’s national isolation are now increasing on a global scale. We believe understanding both the present condition and history of other countries will bring wide perspectives and links to finding solutions.
Chiefly, it is a great pleasure to envision our international and Japanese students building networks and leading international projects. We would be delighted to accept international students in the future as well.

Professor Mamoru Kanzaki
Laboratory of Forest Resources and Society
Graduate School of Agriculture
Kyoto University

12:00 Lunch

12:00 Lunch

VOICE

I always make the lunch box by myself and have lunch together with friends in the open space. I have many Japanese friends, as well as friends from China, Indonesia, Thailand, and Turkey and from Myanmar.
When I don’t have time to cook, I have lunch at the university’s cafeteria. Among the menu at the cafeteria, I like the rice and fish the best. All menus are delicious and reasonable. Among a variety of Japanese food, I especially love sashimi, raw fish sliced into thin pieces. I could not find the words to express how sashimi is delicious. But I am sure that sashimi is fresh and good for health!

13:00 Reseach (fieldwork)

  • 13:00 Reseach (fieldwork)
  • 13:00 Reseach (fieldwork)
  • 13:00 Reseach (fieldwork)

VOICE

I need to go to the field work at least once in a year and report to my professor after the field work. My study area is Wunbaik Reserved Mangrove Forest, Rakhine State, Myanmar. I conducted the field work one time in this year. And then, I have a plan to go again to the field work soon.
In my field survey, I study and observe about current mangrove forest conditions and how and why mangrove forest destruction occurred. I also do interview works with people who are depending on mangrove forests for their livelihood, especially about how they are using mangrove forests for their living.
After finishing my Ph.D course, I am thinking about the Job related with the field of forest and environment conservation in any country.

18:00 After school

VOICE

After school, I go shopping to the supermarket near my dormitory. After that, I start cooking dinner and also lunch box for the next day and have dinner with my friend who is living in the same dormitory. Then I study for about two hours and go to bed. I like my dormitory very much because it is located near the university and this dormitory is only for women. This point is I like the most.

MESSAGE

At first, I am happy and proud of being one of Kyoto University students. It is one of the highest ranked universities in Asia. Almost every day, there are talks and presentations from renowned scientists who come from different universities of not only Japan but also other parts of the world. It is such a healthy learning environment for new students and researchers like me. Also the international office, the funding office and the academic office of the University are so much helpful, they have been with me from the day first and even today. They are always ready to help.
One of good things about the University is that it has strong students unions. The unions run a number of societies and clubs, and one can be a part of these as per one’s taste and interests. The University also has best sports and recreation facilities. The centre offers these facilities at cheap rates for the students and provides coaching in various sports. Even though Kyoto is a small city, it is a lovely place to live, which has its hidden gems. The best part of it being small is that you can find everything needed at walking distance. The city has a number of museums, temples, shrines and market places. It is very green and has gardens and parks everywhere, providing ample space for everyone.
Lastly, Kyoto University is an ideal choice of anyone who is looking for holistic and meaningful years at university, and guarantees the experience to last a lifetime.November 2015

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