I am a foreign student from Cambodia. I came to Japan in the year 2000 when I got a Japanese government scholarship. Before that I was a second year student in ITC (Institute of Technology in Cambodia) in Phnom Penh.
2. About My Study
In my first year in Japan, I studied Japanese language in Tokyo. After that I transferred to become a third year student in the field of Electrical Engineering at Maizuru National College of Technology in Kyoto. After spending three years there, I transferred to become a third year student in the bachelor course in the field of Electronics and Electrical Engineering at Utsunomiya University in Tochigi Prefecture. After I finished my bachelor’s degree, I continued my study to the Master’s and PhD level in the same school. Now I am in my second year of my PhD course.
3. The Deciding Factor for Joining the School
In Cambodia, whenever people talk about Japan that talk will be about technology. Like other Cambodians, I am crazy about Japanese technology. I remember when I was about 12 my father bought a Sony Cassette Player made in Japan for me as a present. I love it so much and it still works fine even now. That was the reason that I fell in love with Japanese technology, and I always had a dream that I will come to Japan to learn technology to make my own electronics equipments. Now my dream of coming to Japan has come true but the dream of making my own electronics equipments has not because I have changed my mind to study in the field of control systems instead of circuit design. Now I am doing research on mobile robots.
4. About My Student Life (College Life)
When I first came to Japan, I knew nothing about the Japanese language. So, in my first year Japanese course, I started from the lowest level class. The class has about 40 students from different countries and English was been used in the class until we could speak Japanese a little bit. In the Japanese school, physics, chemistry, mathematics were also taught in Japanese to make us be able to read books written in Japanese and that was very helpful when I transferred to college. However, since when I was in Japanese school I did not do my best in learning Japanese, when I first went to college it was very hard for me to understand the lessons and communicate with classmates and teachers. But fortunately, most of the lessons in the third year in college were all about physics, chemistry and mathematics, which I had done at the university in my country and at the Japanese school, so I could concentrate only on upgrading my Japanese. It took me about one year to get used to it. In the forth year, I started learning specialized subjects such as electrical / electronics, electromagnetics and so on. Those subjects were so useful for my graduate research in the final year at the college and university. Based on my experience, I think college is the best place to study specialized subjects because in college students can study a subject over a long period. For some subjects, in university they take only five or six months but in the college they take two or three years, thanks to which students can understand more details. In addition, college students have more time to do experiments than university students, which it is very important to completely understand the theory that has been taught in the class.
5. For the International Students
When I was studying Japanese in the Japanese school, I did not concentrate and do all my best. So, when I went to college, it was so stressful because I could not understand the lessons and communicate with my classmates. It made me waste about one year to restudy by myself and I always regret that time. I hope that you will not do the same as me. Another piece of advice that I would like to give to you is to make as many friends as possible. When you come here, you are far away from home. So when you have troubles no one can help you beside your friends. I am a person who used to have many troubles up to now. I can’t count how many times I wanted to quit school and go home, but my friends always gave me good advice whenever I talked to them. Without my friends, I could not have continued my study up until today.