Students' Voices

Wenjun Lu, Fudan University(China)

International Activities

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Choosing KGU

What made you decide to study at KGU?

I’m a junior majoring in Japanese at Fudan University, and Japanese majors usually go abroad in their third year to do a yearlong exchange program.

How much Japanese had you learned before you came to KGU?

I hadn’t studied it at all until I went to university, and I had about two years and nine months of instruction before I came to Japan.

Had you visited or done any sightseeing in Japan before that?

I hadn’t. Before I go back to China, I want to visit Tokyo and see Mt. Fuji.

Are you staying with a host family or in the dorms?

I live in Seifuryo (the women’s dormitory).

What do you think of your living arrangements?

It’s good. I live with four Japanese students. I learned about the dorm from CIEC before I came, but I was really nervous about it, like if I’d have to bring my own rice cooker (laughs). But when I got here, the kitchen had all the cooking implements available, so I was happy about that.
Do you cook a lot in the dorms?

Last semester I tried cooking for myself. Until then, I hadn’t cooked almost at all, so I messed up a lot until I got better at it. This semester, though, I always go to the Gusto restaurant near the dorm (laughs).

University students tend to get a bit lazy about cooking, and that’s the case with KGU students too, I think.

That’s right.

On KGU Student Life

Tell us a bit about your classes at KGU.

I have three days with first period classes, and it’s hard for me to wake up really early (laughs). Right now I’m in the Level 6 class, so we always do discussions and presentations related to various Japanese social problems. Last semester I had a class taught in English by a Spanish professor about Japanese films. It was really interesting. I thought it would be a lot of anime, but we watched many black-and-white Japanese films, which were surprisingly captivating.

Are there any topics that stood out to you in your culture-focused classes?

We learned a bit about Shintoism, and also about eating habits. Last November we went to Kyoto with our teacher to learn how to make wagashi (traditional sweets). We made maple leaf-shaped sweets that were really beautiful.

Is there any place on campus that you particularly like?

I like the library. Sometimes I go there to study.

You’re very diligent.

Only sometimes!

Could you compare your student life at Fudan University and at KGU?

Competition at Fudan University is really fierce, and everyone is at mostly the same level in my classes. Here in the exchange program, people are at different levels in the classes, and we all have discussions together and learn about each other’s cultures. Compared to my home country, I can relax a bit more. Over the winter break, I participated in the Nishinomiya City speech contest, but I was really unsure about whether or not to join at first. I decided to join because I wanted to challenge myself. If the speech contest was at home, though, joining wouldn’t just be about challenging myself. I would strongly feel that I had to really display my language proficiency. I was able to give my speech without being stressed, and in the end, I actually did better than I expected.

Future Aspirations and Advice for Prospective Students

As someone who’s done a yearlong program here, what would you tell someone who was thinking about studying at KGU?

First, the campus is really beautiful. It’s said to be the most beautiful campus in Japan. As an exchange student, you should buy an electronic dictionary in your country and bring it with you. You can’t use your phone to look up words during a test, but electronic dictionaries are okay. At the start of the course, you have to do a placement test, so you should be totally honest and not make wild guesses. If you get a high score by guessing, you’ll get placed in a higher level class, and then you might have a really hard time. Also, don’t skip class. (laughs) I was in the Level 5 (CEFR B1-B2/JLPT N2) class last semester and now I’m in the Level 6 (CEFR B2-C1/JLPT N1) class, and I have so much more homework now. Looking back on this semester, after all the writing and discussions, my Japanese improved before I even realized it was happening.

How will you take what you’ve learned at KGU and apply it towards your future goals? Do you want to work in Japan?

I haven’t thought about where I want to work yet, but after I finish my undergraduate degree in Japanese, I want to go to graduate school and study law, and I think it would be great if I could connect my Japanese and law studies.

Finally, do you have a favorite Japanese expression?

“Ichi-go, ichi-e” (every meeting is once in a lifetime) is my favorite. After I go back home, I don’t know when I’ll come back to Japan, but I want to keep the experiences I had here at KGU firmly fixed in my heart.

(interview translated from Japanese)

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