• Christine

    from Oregon, USA
    1st year, Global Studies Major
    Glencoe High School,



    Why did you choose to apply for the GS Major at Ritsumeikan University?

    My first study abroad experience was back in Kobe, Japan, where I spent one semester with a homestay family. This inspired me to attend a university in Japan; however, I was not comfortable with the idea of taking courses solely in Japanese. Ritsumeikan’s English-based program was appealing to me because of that, since I can take courses in English while learning Japanese through everyday encounters. The tuition was relatively affordable compared to colleges back home and the university also seemed to offer good scholarships, so I decided to apply.

    With my GS friends
    With my GS friends

    What is your favorite class in your first year?

    Modern World History with Professor Stan is always inspiring. The classroom setting itself is nontraditional. Professor Stan will bring interesting topics that are not explicitly addressed in our readings and appoints a student leader to guide the classroom discussion. Through this class experience, I found that I was more engaged in what we were studying and that my critical thinking skills have become more developed.

    Any fun things you are doing outside the classroom?

    I am trying to create a new leisure circle for RU students. We decided that it might be a nice idea to bring students together through group games. The activities we were planning on include a lot of things. They could be video games, board games, card games or even real life games. I am looking forward to the day when it happens.

    Visiting World Heritage Sites in Kyoto ? Ninnaji Temple
    Visiting World Heritage Sites in Kyoto ? Ninnaji Temple

    What have you learnt after coming to Japan?

    I feel like I’m a better communicator now. Studying abroad has given me the chance to make friends from around the world, and I've learnt how to communicate more effectively with students of different cultural backgrounds as a result. I've also seen myself opening up to more people. The major advantage of studying in Japan is that it has helped me improve my Japanese language abilities, especially with my overall ability to comprehend things in Japanese.

    Also, because this is my very first time living by myself, I have learnt to be independent and to take control of my life, though I'm still working on some areas. Living alone has helped me develop skills in things like keeping up with my routines, planning my schedule ahead of time, figuring out when I can play or when I need to relax.

    Will you recommend your friends in USA to come to RU?

    I believe studying abroad can be a life changing experience.

    Personally, I think anyone can benefit from the experience of studying abroad. It helps build up skills you need to learn in an environment that is more forgiving than some places in the working world. I understand that not everyone has the resources to study abroad but if you want to be part of the program, I hope you know that there is always a way. It is not always glamorous and it can take some work but you can make it happen.

    Exploring the mountain trails near my apartment
    Exploring the mountain trails near my apartment