Student Reflections – June 16

21 06 2010

Conversations with students from Tokyo University.

International Students

by William Baskerville

If one were to tell me that we would be meeting with students from the University of Tokyo, I would have imagined the stereotypical studious college student who very rarely leaves his/her room.  But surprisingly, this wasn’t the case.  I guess this could be attributed to the fact that these students were mostly international.  This is not to say that my initial impression describes domestic Japanese college students, it’s just that I’m basing my vision off of what I learned from earlier years as well as what these international students told me.  These college students were extremely diverse.  They literally came from all across the globe — Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Korea, the United States, France, and of course Japan!

Walking around the University of Tokyo.

The University of Tokyo

Professor Masako Notoji, from the University of Tokyo, giving a lecture on Tokyo DisneySea the day before we visit the park. Professor Notoji helped the Disney imagineers construct this theme park for a Japanese audience.

Our classroom discussions were amazing, but I couldn’t help but notice that the majority of our time was spent discussing the Japanese view of “outsiders.”  That’s not very surprising seeing that, to many Japanese people, every student in the room is considered an “outsider” to some extent.  Whatever the case may be, it was great to see everyone’s different perspectives.  Despite the fact that we all come from different areas, we were all able to click well and I’m sure we’ll be hanging out with them more during the duration of our stay in Japan.

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