This interview is with Ms. S in the second year of the Division of Medical Science in the Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering.
This is the first time to interview a student in the medical department campus.Also! She is an international student from Korea! I, as a big fan of Korea, was skipping with excitement on my way to the interview. We had many topics including Korean makeup, Korean guys, etc. (My personal satisfaction. (〃▽〃) love ) It was a fun talk.
She is studying at the medical department campus so I got out of the Kofu campus to interview her. We sat in a Starbucks café at the University of Yamanashi Hospital and enjoyed a long talk.
Now let’s go to the first question!
Q: When did you come to Japan? Your Japanese is fluent!
A： I moved to Akita Prefectural University in the sophomore year. I studied in the Department of Electronics and Information Systems in the first year and then changed to my original major, biology for the third and fourth years. Then I came to the graduate school in the University of Yamanashi. It’s been five years since I came to Japan.
Q: Excuse me for asking a personal question but… was there anybody who did not want you to come to Japan? (I know it’s a kind of sensitive topic…)
A: Actually, my father was also studying in Japan and got married with my mother in Japan, too. My mother went back to Korea for a while to deliver her baby, who is me, then came back to Japan with me. So, I was living in Japan though I was too small to remember those days. Thanks to such a background, there was nobody who didn’t want me to come to Japan.
Q: You said that you originally majored in biology. Can you change majors?
A: In Korea, many students select both major and minor. Japan doesn’t have such system, does it? We study mainly major subjects in the first year and minor subjects also starts from the second year. My major was biology and minor was IT. So I decided to major in electrical engineering upon moving to Japan at the beginning of the second year, but I found out that biology suits me better (lol) Then I reentered from the third grade as a biology major.
Q: What do you study in applied biology??
A: Various things are included, food, plants, genes, etc. I liked brewage best! It’s really unique in Akita and I was surprised by the very new field for me! (I am surprised with your perfect Japanese pronunciation of Jozo, brewage!!! ヽ(･ω･;ヽ)）
Q: Did you join any club?? For example, snowboarding must be popular in Akita.
A: I didn’t join any… I guess university students in Korea wouldn’t understand what you mean by club activities at university. (Why? What do you mean??? (‘.’)?Hmmm）In Korea, students go to private tutoring schools after university! (private schools?) Yes, everybody does. (We are talking about university students, not high school students, aren’t we?) Everybody goes to English language school.
Also in Korea, English is an important subject. English skills help you to get a good job, too. So students in Korea do not have time for club activities. Part-time job is not popular either, I guess. Especially for guys, who go to the army around the age of the first and second grade. (Under the Korea’s military obligation legislation, men are required to serve in the military.)
Most of university students go to both university and English schools.
Q: I see! I have heard before that students in Korea are studying very hard.
A: We study hard for high school entrance exams, too. It may be a little easier depending on areas now but when I was in high school, we stayed at school until 9 o’clock in the evening in the 1st and 2nd grades, and until 10 o’clock in the 3rd grade. It was called “voluntary study” but almost mandatory (lol) Teachers were always watching us ＾＾ Both lunch and dinner were served at school. (Oh no! What a tough schedule…(tears)) It was, but here’s a secret＾＾ Sometimes to run away, I told my teacher that I was feeling sick (lol) But believe me, only a few times! I studied very hard y(^ｰ^)y。
We would like to ask her more about the differences between Korea and Japan even boys and girls^^