Homare Shimizu

Enrolled in April 2019

Photo of Homare Shimizu

The reason why GLA stood out from the rest of the programs, was the way the curriculum was organized to learn a wide range of subjects, all concerning our world today.

Since I still haven’t decided what to study as my major, GLA was the best place for me to explore and decide the subjects that interest me “right now”, in today’s continuously changing society. I also look forward to studying deeper into the subjects of my interests through courses offered by ANU.

The first semester generally starts off with 4 subjects, ranging from statistics to Western Philosophy. The subject I found most interesting was “Civilizations in Global History”. Here, unlike world history taught at high school, the classes centered around identifying western centric biases of the global history. Our professor continuously pointed out how Asian History was often eliminated from the global history, thus questioning whether the subject was truly global.

Regarding the English-speaking environment at GLA, I find the lessons helpful to maintain and even improve my English language skills that I’ve gained through experiences abroad.

One thing that makes GLA different from high school learning experiences is the amount of presentations that we are required to do. Through the course, I have built confidence to speak in front of crowds, and skills to accurately communicate the information gained from sources.

Aside from the schoolwork, I take part in a tennis circle, and the Art club to increase my network of friends coming from diverse backgrounds.

I hope, through the rest of my university life, that I could increase my community further.

For now, I will work my best towards studying at ANU where I believe the workload will become challenging.

Riko Yamamoto

Enrolled in April 2019

Photo of Riko Yamamoto

I decided to study at GLA because it was the best environment for me to broaden my horizons. In my first year, I took a wide range of classes such as statistics, cultural studies, and world history. In addition to lectures, tutorial-style teaching is delivered at GLA, so such an interactive learning environment is one of the attractions of our college Through the study at GLA, I have gained the ability to think both critically and deeply and I have also learned how to build opinions and arguments by analyzing facts from various perspectives.

I now live in the dormitory on campus with friends from different backgrounds, which is an exciting and new experience. The extracurricular exchanges have broadened my acceptance and respect for other cultures. In addition, there are many common spaces in the dormitory, such as study and exchange spaces, so I utilize them depending on my purpose. I am inspired by international students in many ways. Living together with them is an opportunity for me to grow up. Every moment with my peers will be a precious memory.

Haruto Arita

Enrolled in Fall 2019

After spending half of my life in the U.S., I chose to come back home for college. GLA in Osaka Ibaraki Campus is a perfect place to learn Japanese culture as well as global liberal arts.

One of the intriguing courses was “Civilization in Global History.” The course focuses on human civilization from the global perspective. The course had differed from my high school history with a Eurocentric view, this course rather opened a new door. Since then I have started to ask questions on a daily basis.

In the dorm (The Global House) I live with students from all over Asia. I was surprised to see the different cultures and values within Asia. In order to gain mutual understanding, I have developed a skill on how to proactively start a conversation.

Additionally, the dorm offers common space for residents. I am experiencing much more diverse cultures than ever in my life.

Fadhi Aulia Rakhman

Enrolled in Fall 2019

Photo of Fadhi Aulia Rakhman

The reason why I chose GLA is because I was very concerned about choosing only one subject for the next 4 years. This program opens up doors to various subjects ranging from philosophy, politics, history, and even economics. It creates a balance of theoretical subjects and applied ones, with two class meetings per week for one subject: one lecture and one tutorial. I find turorial classes interesting, as we discuss our different point of views and it helps us a lot with critical thinking, something that I have never gotten in high school. We get the chance to learn different understanding and perspectives of the same subjects.

During my three semesters in this program, I have seen a mixture of international students create a new cultural melting pot where people coming from different backgrounds are connected to the same goal. I have learned a lot about other cultures, which I think will not be the same by just learning from books. All the courses taught in English can minimize miscommunication between students and teachers, and also help me develop fluidity in my speaking. On the other hand, the improvement of my English skills also helped me a lot in studying Japanese language. Joining this program while living in Japan provided me with a new exposure to the Japanese culture and point of views. I think this cross-cultural exchanges among students at GLA is what the program aims to be, a place where students from different cultures mix and learn together.

The lessons that this program provides are universal. In my first semester, I studied cultural concepts of society, the history of the world, and how dominating western cultures are in shaping them. These new subjects make me question the state of society we are in. I have learned things that I have never even thought about, from basic questions of what is knowledge and how to gain them, to the evolutions of the market economy. This major might be perfect for students who wish to understand more than a one-sided approach to study a subject in their undergraduate years.

This semester, I have also started taking ANU courses which focus more on the international relations aspects of this major, learning about political order in Asian history and the understanding of peace and war. This will contribute greatly to my dream of one day making a difference at the international level, perhaps a seat in the United Nations Economic and Social Council. That has always been one of my dreams since the beginning of high school years. With lessons in this program that supports critical thinking and public speaking skills, I believe I am on the right path of chasing my dreams.