Οι εμπειρίες του π. υποτρόφου MEXT κ.Οικονόμου

“   為せば成る(Naseba Naru) - You can do it if you try  ”
 
                                                                                                            Achilleas Economou
                                                         MA in History - Gakushuin University (Tokyo)
                                                                                                        April 2008 – March 2012


In 2008 I was awarded the MEXT scholarship to study History with a focus in European and Japanese relations during the 16th and 17th centuries.

 

I arrived in Japan in April 2008 and after undergoing a short but very intense period of Japanese language courses at the Gakugei university of Tokyo I enrolled into Gakushuin University (Tokyo), first as a research student and then progressively as a Post-Graduate and Doctorate student. My stay at Gakushuin lasted until 2012 and during my studies there I obtained a Masters in History and I was accepted into the Phd program of the same university. Personal reasons however forced me to return to Greece and abandon my Phd studies.

Upon my arrival in Japan I was given a room in a student dormitory in the Meguro ward of Tokyo (Komaba). Although it was small, it had everything I needed: a bed, a desk, some bookshelves, a closet and a small bathroom. The rent was low compared to apartment prices so my stay there (2 years) allowed me to save some money in order to move to an apartment in 2010.

I should mention though that my first contact with Japan was not in 2008. I had been studying Japanese out of pure interest in Japan’s history and culture since 2002. I also had the opportunity to visit Tokyo and stay with a Japanese family in 2004 for a few months. Therefore when I returned in 2008 I was partly aware of the challenges that I would face.

Studying however in a faculty where I was the only non-Asian was quite a challenge. In the beginning it felt like I was being constantly watched and the truth is that probably I was. Attending lectures was also quite interesting. People tended to look at me like I was lost and I was in the wrong room. On the other hand most of my fellow students were eager to help me sort out all kinds of problems; study, language or even culture related.  
 
Being exposed to such a different culture from my own and having to learn how to adapt and also learn new things such as never to blow my nose in public or make sure that I make a slurp sound whenever I ate noodles were quite enjoyable and I think these little things are the most wonderful part of living in Japan.

I could honestly go on and on for pages writing about the wonderful experiences I had in Japan and the lovely people I met and now I have the privilege to call my friends. What matters the most however is a single fact; Living and studying in Japan thanks to the MEXT scholarship was one of the most defining and wonderful periods of my life.
 

   

It might take time to learn Japanese and it might require many long hours spent reading and researching about Japan before you manage to receive the MEXT scholarship. It is however a difficult task that I would gladly undertake from the beginning all over again and I strongly advise you to do the same.  

 
 Εμπειρίες Αποφοίτων του Προγράμματος Yποτροφίας της Ιαπωνικής Κυβέρνησης

    Υποτροφίες Ιαπωνικής Κυβέρνησης

     Πολιτισμός & Εκπαίδευση