This is Md. Shahgir Alam and I was a fellow of JDS 12th batch. I went to Japan on August, 2013 and returned back on July 2, 2015 after completing my Masters degree in International Relations from International University of Japan (IUJ) at Minamiuonuma-shi which is located in Niigata Prefecture.
In this short write up first I would like to talk about the JDS selection procedure and in my opinion it is a very fair process to select the JDS candidates. After reaching in Japan, the JICE Tokyo arranged some briefing sessions regarding the curriculum of the relevant universities, Japanese life, society, culture, customs and basic Japanese language course which was very effective for all JDS fellows from different countries. After these briefing sessions we were sent to different universities as per our enrollment with the proper guidance of the JICE staff members and staff members of the concerned universities.
I was admitted at IUJ and the location of the university is beside the mountains of Niigata and the scenic beauty is full of green with amazing nature and during the winter the university campus and adjacent areas become white as all the areas are covered by the snow. Regarding education, IUJ is a world class university, not only for its courses and curriculums but also the students from every corner of the world gather here to obtain quality education and enrich their knowledge. In my 2 years Japan life, I met with the students from at least 50 countries including Asia and Africa to Europe and America continents.
The professors of IUJ are highly educated from the renowned universities of the world and the professors are not confined from the Japanese nationalities. Many professors are recruited from outside of Japan and they are really capable of their fields. In the same way the staff members of IUJ are very capable and cooperative to the students. Before the commencement of the course the university authority including teachers and staff members has given us details idea about total curriculum which was very helpful for every student to understand the education system and procedure. In addition, IUJ arranged the English language courses for the students who are weak in English and also arranged the Japanese language courses for the students who want to learn Japanese and want to stay in Japan. Another unique thing is that the IUJ authorities arranged many special classes, seminars on contemporary global issues and field trips relevant to the courses. The professors of IUJ are very cooperative to the students and the students have very easy access to the professors for their any sort of necessities. Moreover, during the time of thesis writing in the second year, the professors of IUJ try their level best to help the students for a better writing and outcome. Furthermore; the library, the computer lab, the gymnasium and the dormitory facilities with other logistic supports are enough to carry out the lives of students at IUJ. In my opinion, study at IUJ is very tough but if anybody is continuously engaged in study certainly he or she will get a good result. Besides study, there are many sports, cultural and club activities are arranged by the IUJ authority, students and local Japanese communities which are very interesting and enjoyable for the students.
On the other hand, life in Japan is very enjoyable and peaceful in every context as the Japanese people are very highly cooperative to the foreign nationals. Moreover, the culture, customs and life style of the Japanese people are really admirable and if anyone stays with the Japanese society, he or she really become a civic citizen with many good virtues like discipline, politeness, hardworking and soft behavior etc. I was wondered by the natural beauty of Japan and their waste management and cleanliness of their environment. The Japanese people are very concerned about the conservation of their nature and environment. In the winter season for long 4 months I enjoyed the heavy snow falling in Niigata area and it was a unique experience for me. Though, I do not like long winter season still I enjoyed the snow falling at IUJ and many festivals were held during the time of snow falling which was really enjoyable. In addition, I availed of 4 field trips and able to visit important places of Okinawa, Kitakyushu, Nagoya, Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka and Tokyo etc. My wife and two daughters also enjoyed their life at IUJ especially; my elder daughter (4 years) has gone to “kodomoen” for schooling and learnt many things. On the other hand, my wife was engaged in many club activities with local Japanese communities and she enjoyed a lot; moreover, she visited many places with the local people and share foods and cultures with the Japanese and other countries people at IUJ and also learnt some basic Japanese language.
Finally, it can be said that studying at IUJ in Japan, not only I achieved a valuable degree but also I found a lot of friends from the Japanese and other countries, and able to know many things from them which will certainly help me in future.