Hello, my name is Kim and I am a 2nd-year Doctoral student in the GPES program.
I am originally from Luxembourg, a small country in Europe, however before coming to Japan, I studied mostly Environmental, Energy and International Law in California (U.S.A), England, Germany and France. Currently I am researching Environmental and Energy Policies in Japan.
Hence, I do consider myself a very open-minded and internationally thinking person that always tries to discover new things and make exciting experiences.
And to be honest, so far my stay in Japan has been enriching on both a personal as well as on an academic level.
That everything went absolutely smooth from the beginning would be a slight overstatement. Being in Japan, a country where English-language proficiency is far from being a given, even in Tokyo, one needs to realign one’s own expectations in terms of communication given the very real and substantial language barriers.
Such barriers can be found not only in everyday life outside of university, even on campus, interacting with adminsitration officials can still be shaky at times, but the university is trying to change things for the better, albeit sometimes a bit slower than expected.
But that is one of the other things that people moving to Japan need to learn; to call the adminsitration bureaucracy in this country extensivewould be an understatement and dealing with it requires patience, persistence and personal initiative in order to get the things you want.
In the beginning this can be quite daunting and can lead to a loss of orientation from time to time.
However, the University of Tokyo, and especially the GPES students work hard alongside several departments and faculty in order to improve the quality of this program even further and make the intregration of new students smoother, and offer more direct and efficient assistance to existing students as well.
Finally, this program is still relatively young, but its ambition is grand, the faculty is very diverse and highly qualified and especially the students are motivated, ambitious and creative, and they are what makes this program one of the best experiences of my life so far.
My fellow students and the exciting research projects that we perfrom are what keep me going, which push me to strive even further and higher in order to create a program that truly excells in every aspect and will create bright futures for its students.
So please have a look at our website and blogs and become part of this great program. We are eager to get know you, so please contact me or the other GPES students if you have questions (we can be busy, but will try to answer ASAP) or leave comments.