24.A cute exchange student girl from Korea.(continued)



The interview with Ms.S is continued…


Q: You moved to Yamanashi after you finished undergraduate!  Why did you choose the University of Yamanashi? 

A: I wanted to do a research in medicine based on my knowledge of biology.  Most of medical research is in a long-run and we cannot gain an immediate outcome. But I wanted to do this because I believed that my research could also contribute to the society some day in the future.  I was accepted by a few schools and chose Yamanashi because I thought its relaxing atmosphere would help me to concentrate on study^^ But once I got here, transportation became a problem because I don’t have a car.  Otherwise, I think Yamanashi is a lovely place.  It’s close to Tokyo and a very beautiful town.


Q: What do you study in the master’s program? 

A:  My research is on allergy.  Have you heard about a clock controlled gene?  (clock controlled gene…( ・⊝・ )?? What is that?) More allergic symptoms, such as asthma and pollenosis, appear during a certain time period of the day. It means that allergic symptom happens along a biological clock.  I studied how that works. I conducted experiment on mice.  Like human beings, each mouse is unique and reacts differently.  It was difficult to figure out a stable numerical output.


Q:  As you are in the second year of the masters’ course, is it a job recruiting season now? 

A:  Yes, actually I was accepted the other day.  (Good to know that.  Congratulations!!) Thank you.  Honestly, job recruiting was very competitive.  I applied to 100 companies and only about 30 companies replied back.  I thought maybe it was because companies did not hire many international students.

But I had final interviews with six companies (all famous major companies!)  and got accepted by five except for one that I declined in the middle of the process.  I decided to enter R Pharmacy out of those five companies.  I will move to Osaka for a fresh start from spring next year.  (R Pharma!  That’s a great company!!)



Q: What was your impression of the recruiting activity? 

A: I didn’t use any typical guide book for college hires’ recruitment.  I was afraid to behave similar to other students who are reading and following those guide books.  I decided to go on my own way without the typical manual to present my own color.

To be prepared for interviews, I studied about their products and also got ready to comment on each product.  I think I could successfully present my own color.


Q: By the way, what is a difference between Korea and Japan, especially between men and women?

 A:  I see the biggest difference in how Japanese or Korean people treat “public position”, “adulation”, “reserve” and “politeness.”

In Korea, there is no flattery or reserved attitude with friends.  For example, it’s normal to say something like “Didn’t you gain weight?  Looks bad.” (lol)  In other case, someone open a package of snack, for example.    Japanese friends say “Is it for us?  Thanks!”   But Korean friends just take it and eat it without saying anything (lol)  Japanese people are more polite and say “thank you” or “I’m sorry” in a timely manner.

I don’t mean which is good or which is bad but I just see various differences in cultures and manners of both countries.


Q: It’s my personal impression but…  I have many Korean friends and feel that Korean guys treat girls more nicely, don’t they?  (Can we get distracted a little bit?) 

A:  Hmmm… it depends, I think.  Japanese guys are also nice. (But if you had to criticize??)  Okay… If I had to criticize, Japanese guys usually do not escort girls home ^^

In Korea, it’s normal that a guy escorts a girl to her home at night including ordinary friends or colleagues.  Even when he cannot actually walk or drive her by himself, he gets a taxi for her and will call later to make sure that she got home.  Japanese guys usually don’t do that.  If we are going home in different directions, a guy will just leave saying “My home is this way. See you tomorrow!”  ^^; It’s a little bit sad.

But I also think that Japanese guys are maybe rather afraid of bothering a girl by sending her home.


Q:  Korean cosmetics are one of hot topics in Japanese magazines.  What is the latest makeup in fashion?

 A:  Natural makeup is popular recently.  Vivid eye make is still preferred but makeup is becoming more natural.  But  makeup fashion in Korea shifts so quickly that it may change again by the next time I go back.

Also a new cosmetic is in a boom, a spray that burns cellulite.  It’s said that you just spray and rub it into a part of cellulite and then it’s gone.  (That’s so nice!!o(・д・´*)9)  Its TV commercial has a famous Korean actress in it and this is also a reason that the product is very popular.  I wanted to buy one but they didn’t take an international shipment order unfortunately… (tears)



Q: What is your plan in the future? 

A:  I wish to have more opportunities of international exchange in Yamanashi.

For example, when I was in Akita, I did volunteer activities such as interpreting and teaching a Korean language class.  From a personal connection in the volunteer activity, I attended a Korean TV crew as an interpreter when they visited to cover Akita.  There was a group who delivered Korean language classes in different venues on request although I missed to join that one.

I wish to establish a similar network here in Yamanashi as well. Finally, I need to work hard on my thesis!  I’m worried if I will be able to graduate ^^;


Q: Lastly, would you give a message to students in Japan? 

A:  Get involved in various things.  It’s very important that you have your own opinion.  Students in Korea or other countries seem to be more interested in politics, for instance, and they know and can discuss at least outlines of each party and its policies.  Students from different countries are often discussing politics with each other.

On the contrary, Japanese students seem to be rather less interested or not to have specific opinion.  In the trend of internationalism, it’s getting more and more important to pay an attention to issues of your own country.


Thank you for the interview today. (You are welcome!  I thank YOU for taking your time to join our interview!)



From my point of view as a Japanese person who has many Korean friends, Ms. S is an impressive lady who has both Korean and Japanese aspects in her personality. It seems that her experience of living abroad extended her vision wider and her strength lead to her success in job hunting in a foreign country among native Japanese competitors.
I enjoyed a stimulating interview. Thank you very much, Ms. S!
I wish you the best for the fresh start of your career in Osaka!