Faculty of Agriculture and Marine Science, Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Kochi University

Message from International Students

Life in Kochi, Japan


Nahar Syeda Jabun (Bangladesh)

Hi, I'm Nahar Syeda Jabun, from Bangladesh. At present, I'm an international student at Kochi University in the Faculty of Agriculture. The first day at Kochi University was a memorable one in my life. First, I was introduced to my supervisor, who spoke to me in English. Then we went to the faculty office and he introduced me to the office staff, but I didn't understand a word because everyone spoke in Japanese. At that time I was worried about my daily life in the university, because I hadn't learned Japanese before I came here. But now I am used to living here. Every morning I go to my laboratory at the start of the day. My research theme is the micropropagation of orchid tissue culture. It is very interesting work: very small organs (protocorm-like bodies, or PLBs) of a plant will produce a new orchid plant. I'm very excited about my experiments, as I learn something new and different every day. Recently, I attended an international symposium in Chiang Mai, Thailand. After my presentation, all the participants praised my work, and this was a great encouragement for my future work.

Soon after I came to Kochi, I went to the International Hall in Nissho to study the Japanese language, because I hadn't learned Japanese before coming here. I also attended the Japanese language class at Kochi University. I have found the Japanese people to be very helpful and kind to foreigners, and their polite and gentle behavior helps us live a comfortable life in Kochi. All the teachers, faculty, and staff are committed to providing us with a safe, friendly, and high-quality academic program. Sometimes I go to evening classes to study Japanese, under the guidance of volunteers who are very warmhearted in teaching us, and whose teaching system is very effective. I try to attend every event of the NIA, and to connect with the local people in many kinds of activities. For example, at a big event in Nankoku City, I served my home country's food, wearing a kimono, and was interviewed for the Nankoku City newspaper. Last year, I visited three elementary schools as a lecturer on intercultural activities and human rights. I wish to promote a relationship with the Japanese people and their culture. I believe that student life should not be devoted only to study, but is an important time for exchanging culture among various peoples and, if possible, among various countries.

Kochi must be one of Japan's most pleasant cities to visit and live in. A smallish city by Japanese standards, it has its own unique country charm, which is absolutely irresistible, and still maintains a traditional Japanese countryside atmosphere. One of the greatest treasures of Kochi City is its castle, one of the few original castles left in Japan. The sakura (cherry blossoms) in April, the ensuing young leaves in May, and the rainy season in June produce various beautiful flowers. In August, Kochi City hosts a three-day dancing program in the Yosakoi Festival, and the Fireworks Festival. Both are very attractive and enjoyable festivals.

Life in Kochi is, above all, laid back and relaxed, and it offers its inhabitants not only spectacular scenery and historical monuments, but also sunny weather virtually all year round. These factors all help make Kochi a memorable and happy place to visit, as well as to live, work or study in. I want to tell all my friends that I'm living, studying, and enjoying my life in Kochi, Japan.