A Japanese Midsummer Dream in Ehime (22 July 2019 – 22 August 2019)

Report (Ms. Choo Jia Hsien, Short term exchange program 2019)

A Japanese Midsummer Dream in Ehime (22 July 2019 – 22 August 2019)

“It was a summer filled with joy, wonders and discovery. It was a burst of everything beautiful, the food, culture, people and nature, just like fireworks, all interwoven into one month of our midsummer dreams.”

Ehime University’s short-term summer exchange program was held in collaboration with University of Malaya, where twelve (12) students from the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology were selected to participate. In one month, these Malaysian students partook in laboratory work and industrial visit, attended Japanese language classes, explored scenic places in and around Ehime prefecture and enjoyed various Japanese summer festivals.

 

Overview and Summary

Over the span of five weeks, we had a balance of work and fun. In the first week, we settled into Imaichi Share House. On the second day, we attended orientation briefing. We were provided with various handouts that included maps, Matsuyama guidebook and our important student identity cards. We were briefed on the schedule throughout the exchange, essential information and arrangements to obtain our bicycles. A welcoming speech was given by the program coordinator, Professor Hideaki Yasuhara. We were then ushered to our respective laboratories to be briefed by sensei and research mentor on our work and expected deliverables. We did some lab work on the first week.

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First look at our new university

On the second week, we continued with our assigned lab work. Additionally, we attended 1.5 hours of Japanese language lessons daily, taught by a few instructors. We had our industrial visit at Iseki & Co., Ltd., which manufactures state-of-the-art technologies on agricultural machineries. We were given a tour around manufacturing and assembly sites. We admired the wide array of equipment that were on display at Iseki Dream Museum. On the third week, we resumed our work, which were mostly in preparation for our presentation and report. Most of our presentations were held on Friday (9th August 2019). Throughout these three weeks, our weekends were spent by travelling and wandering to places in and out of Matsuyama.

Japanese lesson with our instructor

Visit to Iseki Dream Gllery, their latest state-of-the-art machine on display

Obon holiday week coincided with our fourth week. Most laboratories were closed as it was a national Japanese summer holiday. All of us utilised the free week to explore places beyond Ehime. Some of us visited areas around Hiroshima and Imabari while others visited Kansai region, Takamatsu and Tokushima prefecture.

In our final week, we had our completion ceremony on 20th August 2019, where all the exchange students were presented with certificates. A farewell lunch party was held after the ceremony, where all of the exchange students, their professors and research mentors were invited. We returned our bicycles on the following day. On the final day, we bade farewell and were given a warm send-off at Matsuyama Airport.

Snippets and details of favourite moments:

Experiencing my laboratory work and interacting with Japanese students (Choo)

This is the quintessence and the core of this exchange program. All of us were based in laboratories we have selected. Being academically inclined and an undergraduate research assistant myself, I was most interested in how Japanese researchers conduct their experiments, their work culture and work environment. Every exchange student was placed under a sensei for his or her laboratory work. I was under the supervision of Dr. Yamamuro and his student, Mr. Takasugi, a master degree student in his first year. My laboratory work was on synthesising silicon carbide (SiC).

The office environment, with a designated desk for my work

Experiments were conducted in laboratories but I spent most of my weekdays in the office with Dr. Yamamuro’s students. There were 16 of us in the office, they were either in their final year of their undergraduate degree or master degree students. At first, it was awkward for me as I was the only foreigner in the office. The biggest challenge was language barrier and cultural differences, but I felt right at home after a few days. During experiments, I was thoroughly guided by Dr. Yamamuro’s students. I observed that the equipment in the laboratory were well maintained and orderly. I also noted that students were meticulous in their work, paying attention to the smallest of details.

 My first week was spent on conducting experiments while the following week was focused on data analysis, studying and preparation for presentation. Throughout those two weeks, I had lots of fun learning from my office mates about everything in Japan. They were always enthusiastic, courteous, friendly, curious and above all, generous and kind. I was included in their weekly office clean up sessions where I helped to sweep the floor and throw out rubbish. I participated in weekly meetings with sensei and his students. One of the sensei’s students excitedly showed me his presentation for Open Campus and I was given explanation on his simple experiment on magnetism.

Lab work and some noodle exchange

A typical day entailed coffee break, fun chats with office mates and report writing. In between work, we shared with each other pictures of places, food and festivals. I was furnished with unique facts about Matsuyama, one of which is the fact that oranges grown here are most popular. With the aid of Google Translate, we exchanged stories of our own country. They taught me Japanese language and I taught them simple Malay greetings. I got to know their favorite songs, sports and most importantly, I practiced Japanese culture with them. There were always snacks in the office, whenever anyone came back from out of town. I was literally showered with a variety of Japanese snacks and sweets! This was the epitome of any exchange experience. My time at the office were loaded with laughter, joy, snacks, coffee and good vibes. They were always supportive of my experimental work, attending my final presentation and celebrated my achievement with a sumptuous lunch buffet near Okaido. This whole experience was easily the highlight of my entire exchange journey.

Group photo with sensei and lab mates (Ultimate Party People) after lunch party

 

Our activities and events around campus

The campus was buzzing and alive with a few events. In the first week, we attended Exchange Party (AINECS). The party was organized by the university to bring together local, international and exchange students together. It was a melting pot for people of many nationalities, complemented with performances from Ehime students and a mouthwatering palate of food and drinks. We met many local students, a few of whom we instantly made friends with.

Party environment and yummy food at AIENECS party

The warmth of summer in campus could be felt at Bon Dance Festival in the third week. The atmosphere was alive and bustling with traditional games, students in yukata, snacks and dessert at the booths. Students and staff gathered at the centre of the square and danced away to the melodies of the night. There was an air of excitement, harmony and fondness as we bonded with our friends and lab mates over dance and games.

Whenever we are not in our lab or office, we would spend our time exploring the university campus. We frequented the cafeteria for quick, delectable and healthy meals. We had lunch with our new friends here. Occasionally, we would also get our meals and nibbles from Costa convenience store. We would sometimes finish our work at the library. The campus was dotted with other departments, a museum and stores like Emica, which were all within easy reach by walking. The lushness and greenery of the campus provided relief to the blistering heat and a perfect setting for a stroll in the late afternoons.

The scenes and serenity in Ehime University

 

 

Imaichi Share House

Nestled in a quiet residential area, between Ehime University and Dogo Onsen, it was our home for a month. There, we met two other exchange students from Taiwan, both of whom are proficient in Japanese and were most helpful in our day-to-day living. Each of us were given our private rooms which was cozy and well furnished. It was like a dormitory, having to share utilities and common areas. This was a place where we shared stories of our laboratory and office with each other, cooked meals and played games. With our families being so far away, we had each other’s shoulders to cry and lean on, company to laugh with, a person to confide in.

View of the common area and a room in share house

It was a place for us to unwind after a long day. Of course, there were times when we had our inconveniences when we had to wait for our turn for certain utilities. However, the friendship we fostered over our stay was priceless. Most of us did not know each other before this exchange, and suddenly we were in each other’s world.

A usual day starts with a few of us preparing our breakfast, before heading out to the university for laboratory work. In the evenings,most of us would return to cook our dinner. The inn lodger, Ms. Sato, was very accommodating, sorting out any issues in the house despite hurdles in communication. We even celebrated Hari Raya Haji, a Malaysian festival, where we threw a feast consisting of homecooked Malaysian meals. Aromas of Rendang (meat dish) and chicken curry filled the common area, reminiscent of how an open house (house party) is like in Malaysia. We had Malaysian students from Ehime University over too. Truly, our home in Japan felt no different than our home in Malaysia.

Celebrating Hari Raya Haji in a home, far from home

 

 

Around Matsuyama

A city steeped in history, culture and tradition, Matsuyama exudes an air of conservatism. In stark contrast to cities like Osaka, where skyscrapers and a network of JR that creeps across the city landscape prevail, Matsuyama is a window to the heyday of Japan. A network of trams and the iconic Dogo Onsen bath house invokes the feeling of being in the movie “Spirited Away”. The roads in Japan were cyclist-friendly and we were able to get to many places within a short car ride away, with our trusty bicycles.

Peddling on our bicycles, we often visit Okaido, Dogo Onsen, supermarkets and restaurants. On the first weekend, we were accompanied and given a tour by three Ehime University students, Mr. Nishioka, Mr. Kawaji and Mr. Higashise. They will be going to University of Malaya to undergo their short-term exchange the following month. Together, we visited Matsuyama Castle where we saw a bird’s eye view of the city, a picturesque view of the sprawling urban complexes. They then took us to local shopping heaven, Okaido. They were eager to assist us in exploring the city, as well as providing answers to our questions.

With Ehime University students at Matsuyama Castle
Strolling down Dogo Onsen shopping alley, watching Matsyama Summer Parade

 

The hills, beaches, shrines and towns just outside of Matsuyama were best explored with a car. We were treated to a zen-filled environment, a delight of what nature in Japan has to offer. A few of us rented a car and saw for ourselves how the concrete jungle slowly morphed into big patches of paddy fields, with hills lining the background and stretching across the land. We visited the nearby sleepy towns of Uchiko and Ozu, where our adventures took us to castles and shrines. Narrow and desolate roads, quaint two-storey shops and small country cottages gave us a glimpse of what rural Japan would have looked like in the Edo period. We swam at Futami beach, where the hills meet the turquoise sea. We were Chihiro (character from ‘Spirited Away’), overlooking the sparkling sea while waiting for the train at Shimonada Station.

Our day trip to outskirts of Matsuyama, the paddy fields near Ozu, Shimonada Station, Futami beach, sunset at the beach

We were wonderstruck by the booming fireworks at Iyoshi and Mitsuhama Fireworks Festival on the first and second weekend respectively. We were lost amongst the crowd, in a sea of colorful kimonos and food carts. Despite that, we managed to get good view of the fireworks, blasting in spectrums of colours, synching with mellow songs played throughout the night. All those endless fireworks invoked our inner joy and happiness, a moment in summer where we wished it could last.

 

Fully immersed in the serenity and tranquility of the city, complimented by the friendly and lovely locals, we felt Matsuyama was a home, close to our hearts. A home, where age-old tradition meets the present. For me, this exchange programme fostered international friendships which lasts a lifetime.

 

Spending our Obon holidays

The Japanese national holiday was also our holiday, as we hustled along with the locals to travel across cities and islands. Six of us went on a 7-day trip around Kansai region,Takamatsu and Tokushima prefectures. Towering concrete structures, miles of railways, shinkansen and throngs of people defined all the cities we went to, namely Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara and Okayama. We did what a typical tourist in Japan does, a lot of shopping and eating. We had a taste of each city’s specialties, like okonomiyaki and kushikatsu for Osaka. We were in awe with megastructures like Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and Umeda Sky Tower. Engrossed in the rich history of Japan, we went to Kyoto National Museum, Osaka Castle and Nara National Park. We kept in touch with nature as we visited parks like Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu and Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. We had an opportunity to stay at an authentic and cozy homestay, located in a suburb near Takamatsu. We visited Onaruto Bridge where we saw the famed whirlpools under the structure. Every place we went were distinct in its own way, making us realise that there is so much more to offer, urging us to go on more adventures in this country.

Natural and man-made marvels meet: Tsutenkaku and Kushikatsu in Osaka, Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu

With our Taiwan exchange friends in Osaka

Some of us visited parts of Ehime and Hiroshima prefecture. A short road trip with a few of Malaysian Ehime University students took us to Imabari Castle, and Seto Naikai National Park, all nearby Imabari city. Culturally influenced architectures like shrine gates dotted everywhere we went. The crystal-clear waters of the beach and park was perfect for a dip and a relief from the summer heat. Taking a ferry ride across the sea, we visited the symbolic Great Torii Gate at Miyajima Island. We even interacted with deers roaming around the island, such gentle creatures. We visited Hiroshima, A-bomb dome projecting a silhouette of grim and solemn ambience. We heard and read stories from the survivors of that fateful day. Countless orizuru (paper cranes) structures and handicraft were put around A-bomb dome and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a reminder that there is hope, kindness and humanity even after a traumatic catastrophe.

Hiroshima Memorial Cenotaph and A-bomb Dome

With Malaysian Ehime University students at Seto Naikai National Park

Two different journeys, countless sights and memories, one message:
Japanese culture intertwined with the resilience of her people, where traditions walk hand-in-hand with the future, dictates how far and how much a past shapes her present. We thoroughly enjoyed our Obon holiday, our minds were opened to sights and symbolism behind the many things we watched and observed.

 

Farewell

All good stories have an ending, and ours is not an exception. It was not the easiest thing to say goodbye to everyone and every place we visited. A completion ceremony was held where the dean of Engineering, Professor Hiroshi Takahashi presented our completion certificates, attended by some of our supervisors. Then, a farewell party was held by the Engineering Faculty where all the exchange students, their supervisors and some of their lab mates were invited. We were served a lunch buffet with platters of seafood, meat, sushi and drinks. We conversed freely with the students, lab mates and even with other supervisors. Despite our laughter and smiles as we chatter, we couldn’t help but feeling a tinge of sadness as it was to be the last gathering of our wonderful friends in Japan. We returned our bicycles the day after and spent our last day at office with our office mates. For me, bidding goodbye and wishing my office mates the best of everything, was the toughest thing to do.

 

“The only time goodbye is painful is when you don’t know when you’ll say hello again.”

A moment in time, all smiles, eternally grateful.

 

 

Thoughts, Closing Remark and Acknowledgement
We are immensely grateful that we were given this lifetime and life-changing opportunity to participate in this short-term exchange program. We would like to thank the Engineering Faculty of Ehime University, General Affairs team, especially Ms. Narumi and Ms. Aya for their endless support. We are extremely appreciative of our supervisors and sensei, our lab mates who opened their hearts to accept us into their circle of friends. From them, we learned so much more than our research topic had to offer. Additionally, we met overseas university students who became our friends, who were very friendly and offered us help and shared insights into how they live their lives in Japan. We were a little less lost when we met Malaysian Ehime University students, who were also our guide and our closest friends, a family far from home. Sometimes, we were lost in translation, but our hearts felt right where we should be.

We were opened to a country, a world so different, a world where age-old tradition merges with the future, a place where her people’s kindness, friendliness and generosity touched us. A window to view both the past and the present. All these delightful combinations of both fast and slow, new and old, brought joy and happiness to us. For many of us, it was the first time we visited Japan but we all know for sure, it will not be the last time.

Thank you for everything, Japan.

From the bottom of our hearts,
Tan, Choo, Laila, Afrina, Chong, Ooi, Juliana, Khor, Farhana, Zaid, Amir and Keeme.

Written by,
Choo Jia Hsien (チョー)
Second Year B.Eng. Chemical Engineering,
University of Malaya.   

The Joy of Autumn in Ehime

The Background

This program is a collaboratory student exchange program between UGM, ITB and Ehime University. Few students from Ehime has came to Indonesia at September 2018, and twenty of UGM students and five of ITB students was come to Ehime University at the following month. The purpose of this program is to provide the opportunity of Undergraduate and Graduate Students from both UGM, ITB and Ehime University to conduct the experiment as the Research Student for one month period. Besides, it featured city trip to various places, either educational or cultural place around Matsuyama City. This program also introduce campus activities inside and outside the laboratory to the students, in the wonderful season of Autumn.

The Program Overview

This awesome program began with the orientation day. The day started with opening speech and campus introduction from Hideaki Yasuhara, Dean of Engineering Faculty. Mrs Satomi and Mrs Aya from International Affairs Team also give the participant some briefing related to the program. The rules, the WiFi connection, and also the bicycle. The orientation day is end with laboratory introduction with respective Professors and Laboratory members.
From the first week, the students will enter each laboratory they applied previously, in the respective major they belong to. The students will conduct the experiment with Professor as Supervisor and taught by Laboratory member as a Mentor. The experiment is scheduled in each laboratory, following the campus agenda. At the first weekend, we had a trip to Matsuyama Castle, and Dogo Onsen.

The second week, we must attend the Japanese Speaking Class with different Sensei everyday. The class is start at 8.30 and end at 10.00 from Monday to Friday. The speaking class is brought intensively and with the relatively small syllabus. Also in the second week, Sakura Scholarship member have a trip to Kanogawa Dam at afternoon.

The third week, student is attend the presentation from Ehime University Student that have experienced the exchange program in Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia. At Wednesday, all of the student have Iseki Company Visit. At the weekend, the university held wonderful Festival from morning to evening.
The last week is closed with Completion Ceremony. All the student have their certificate handed over by the Dean of Engineering Faculty. The lunch party is featured by all laboratory supervisor and laboratory friends. The additional farewell in each laboratory also be held.

Miyuki and Imaichi, Two Places Share Stories

The Sakura Scholarship students lived in the Miyuki Dormitory while the rest of the student live in Imaichi Sharehouse. Both place support the living of all the exchange student. Both of the place is separated by about 1 kilometer away and the University stand between them as a perfect meeting point. The student often visit the other place for chatting with friends and to exchange the atmosphere of living place.

The students from both places had some valuable living experience like managing room cleanliness and waste disposal, financial management, food and health management, also social management like participating in various social activities like cooking together and gathering in the hall. Although in Miyuki the student is separated by walls and doors between the room, they had together time in Meeting Room for enjoying Dormitory WiFi connection. In Imaichi, they always had time for meeting especially at morning and at night.

Daily Laboratory Activities

The experiment have several steps and procedure that must be followed from the first week until the end of the program. The difficulties in the experiment can be overcome with professor help and laboratory mates assistance, so the exchange student should not be worry about running the experiment. All the students finished the experiment successfully. The experiment is not so time consuming, because the professor provide a lot of free time everyday so each student can used it for enjoying Matsuyama City.

Beside running the experiment, the student have their quality time with laboratory friends like having lunch and dinner together, visiting place together, and also enjoying the festival together. Student is not only learned the experiment itself, but also learned valuable social value like togetherness and hospitality (Omotenashi). The student experienced communication and interaction with Ehime University student through many things inside and outside laboratory.

Kanogawa Dam Trip

Ten students from sakura scholarship have the opportunity to visit Kanogawa Dam in Uchiko Town, South of Matsuyama. The student travel for two hours to the Dam from the city. We learned about the Dam mechanism in order to controlling flood and provide water reserve. We enjoyed the 10 minutes presentation and 1 hour of Dam construction visit from the tunnel front side, the four gates, the tunnel exit side, and the control room.

 

Iseki Dream Gallery Trip

All of us experience the visit in Iseki Company. We watch the ten minutes presentation and moving to the manufacturing side of agricultural machines. We had 30 minutes of interesting plant tour with unique style. The material is delivered with Indonesian Language. We had an awesome photo shoot session and question and answer session before return.

 

University Festival

The university held the annual festival for the two days. We enjoyed the performance from the dance, band, vocal group, and various game stop. We also enjoyed the food in the festival. The festival is attended by various people including the children. University is filled with autumn leaves from maple trees, that colored up the joy of the festival.

Enjoying Matsuyama City (and more places around)

Our weekend is filled with excitement because we visit so many places every week. Beside Matsuyama Castle and Dogo Onsen, we had visit Tobe Zoo outside of the town, The dogo park and matsuyama city park, matsuyama port, museums. We visit next city, the Imabari and next perfecture kagawa. We had tried Taimeshi, the special food in Matsuyama.

 

Unforgettable Farewell

At November 15th, we had the irreplacable days and also farewell. The end of this program is marked with the certificate of completion handover from Hideaki Yasuhara, Dean of Engineering Faculty. After the closing speech, we had our last official photo session attended by all of the laboratory member and supervisors.

The next agenda, we had a very delightful lunch with the friendly atmosphere with laboratory friends. Not only enjoying the tasty food, we also had fun times like joking around and laughing together.

Some laboratory had the special farewell at the same day or the following day. We experience very sad farewell. Every last of them had precious time with us and also we through many things together in this very short period. We had take many pictures and then officially says goodbye.

 

Conclusion

Ehime University Exchange program had provide us so many experience. We recieved valuable lesson from each our field of study by scientific activities inside and outside of our laboratory. We had fun times with our lab members. We were able to survive and managed our life well. We have various place to be   explored. We also had learned many Japanese culture by doing interaction with Japanese friends.
It was not only about the experiment, but it was the whole thing of living in Japan, Matsuyama. We loved the food, places, peoples, and all the culture. We were glad with the hospitality of Japanese people. We would like to say thank you to all of the International Affairs Team who work very hard in order to make the program ran successfully. Also we would like to say thank you to all of the supervisor, the Japanese teacher, laboratory member, and every people that supports us walk through the awesome days in Ehime University. It was a pleasure to feel the joy of Autumn in Matusyama. See you again

Contributors:
Laurentius Damar Parthasiwi (Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Student)
UGM Students

My Experience as Exchange Student in Ehime University

(Addo Hernando / Universitas Gadjah Mada)

  This year, I got an opportunity to be an exchange student in Ehime University for 1 month period. This exchange program was held in the colorful autumn season, which is 21 October – 19 November 2018. I feel thankful for Ehime University and Japan Science & Technology Agency as the exchange program organizer.

  Ehime University is one of the biggest university in Shikoku Island. Ehime University was established in 1949 and now has six faculties, which are Faculty of Law and Letters, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Collaborative Regional Innovation, Faculty of Science, School of Medicine, Faculty of Engineering, and Faculty of Agriculture. In this exchange program, I got an opportunity to do research in Faculty of Engineering, Chemistry Department.

  In Chemistry Department, I was assigned in Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory. Here, I met Associate Professor, Yamaguchi and my mentor, Taketomi. Taketomi is a first year master student in this university, and he is assigned as my research mentor. I met a new field of research, which is metal and organic complex for chemical reaction catalyst. As I remember, this research filed has not studied yet in my department, Chemical Engineering Department, Universitas Gadjah Mada. So I think it is very difficult yet very interesting to study.

  Another thing I learnt here was Japanese culture. Some of the cultures that very differ from Indonesia are being on-time and waste separation. I really like how Japanese people are so structured in time management and always on time, not early nor late. Even 1 minute late is considered bad here, very different from Indonesian. Waste separation is a thing here and Indonesia, but Japanese waste separation is very discipline, but I am sure this is what make the city more clean and energy sufficient as combustible waste can be converted to energy. I hope that someday Indonesian can do the same as Japanese.

  I feel so grateful for this experience and I am sure this experience will be one precious memory in my life. I also want to express my gratitude to Tanoto Foundation for supporting me to join this program. As after being in Ehime University for 1 month, I have experienced many things and be able to developed myself.

STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAMME 2016 HELD IN MATSUYAMA, JAPAN


 

REPORT ON STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAMME 2016

(19TH JULY – 19TH AUGUST, 2016)


 

Background

The Student Exchange Program (SEP) allows University of Malaya undergraduates and postgraduates students spend a month at Ehime University to expand more knowledge and experience in life. SEP is a chance for the students to experience student life in foreign country and learn to be a global citizen. It is a good opportunity for students to pick up new language, absorb new cultures and make new friends.

Introduction

As a second year postgraduate student in the Faculty of Engineering (University of Malaya), being awarded the chance to go on an exchange programme was a very good opportunity for me to learn a new culture and experience different learning environment.

 

First day of arrival in Ehime Prefecture and being guided to Ehime Universit

The exchange lasted for one month from mid of July till mid of August 2016 at the Ehime University which located in Matsuyama, Ehime (Japan). As one of the students that was chosen for the exchange programme at the university which is rich with Japanese cultures, it is quite a good way in exchange the knowledges and cultures in this university. Back in Malaysia, I was very excited and really interested in creating new experiences as an international student exchange to Ehime University, where it was quite an eye opener to experience it myself in real way.

Academics

The exchange also allows me to put the topic of studying local universities versus overseas universities in the spotlight. The difference lies with the way how the experiments are been managed in the laboratory. The attachment in Heat & Transfer Laboratory (under Prof. Shinfuku Nomura supervisions) has gave me the opportunity to learn about some of the technologies in the lab that are not available during my study in University of Malaya.

A demonstration of the experiment to the students from high school during Open Campus

I can see that, the availability of the instruments in the laboratory give better exploration to the subject area while students having more time in the week to do their self-study and research. The opportunity to meet with the local students and sensei give me a chance also to collaborate with the laboratory here as to expand the better research in future.

Reflection

Looking back, I think I have become more independent as a person. The exchange programme provided a unique and fruitful learning experience outside the limits of a laboratory. I would like to thank the staffs at Faculty of Engineering and all the staffs that involved in guiding us through the programme and also I want to express my big thanks for the kind assistance in making this experience possible.

Cultural

The staffs and the local students here have introduced us to some interesting places and also high technology agricultural company. The programmes offered a visit to Matsuyama’s Castle, Dogo Onsen and Iseki Company which located in Matsuyama City, Japan. This programme has thought me a lot during the learning journey in Matsuyama, Japan.

A visit to Matsuyama’s Castle which was guided by local Japanese students

They are also some other places that we went for visit by our self, such as Dogo Park, Sogo  Park, Okaido Street, shrines at different places and many more. I have also experienced watched the festival that was held at Okaido and Gintengai streets which is very fun and interesting to see. It is nice to view that Matsuyama City is very clean and nice place with a good environment and friendly citizens. Plus, it was quite interesting for myself to see how locals are very open minded to new immigrants. I have found it as a good way to reflect on our very own Malaysian identity to Japanese people.

A visit to Yu Shrine near Dogo Onsen

A visit to Iseki Company which was supported by Ehime University 

(Thank you for gave us a very nice hospitality and nice treat!)

 

This report is prepared by:Siti Shafiah binti Shazali

Postgraduate Student

Faculty of Engineering,

University of Malaya

(Semester 2, 2015/2016)

(台湾)国立交通大学 留学体験レポート

 

派遣先大学:国立交通大学

滞在期間:2017/11/10-2017/12/101ヶ月間)

名前:姫田泰聖

所属研究室:物質生命工学専攻 応用化学コース

学年:修士1

食事

台湾での食事は、日本に比べると圧倒的に安いです。台湾の弁当は、白ご飯付きで40元(約150円)という安さで食事ができました。味も基本的に日本人に食べやすいものが多いと思います。学食などに行くと「日式」というメニューが多くあり、完全に日本の味とは言えませんが、台湾でも日本食が楽しめる場所が多いです。珍味である「臭豆腐」は匂いで拒絶反応を起こしたため食べられませんでした。「鴨血」は挑戦しましたが、やはり日本人にとっては美味しくないと感じる食べ物だと思います。基本的に台湾料理は辛い物はとても辛く、味が薄いものはトコトン味が薄い印象でした。ニンニクなど香辛料の強い料理も多いです。台湾料理で美味しかったのは魯肉飯(ルーローファン)です。程よい香辛料で味付けをしたひき肉と味玉がご飯の上にのっており、肉そぼろ感覚で美味しかったです。新竹では「ビーフン」や、肉団子のようなものが入ったスープ「貢丸湯」が有名で、これらも非常に美味しかったです。また台湾ミルクティーも有名であり、タピオカミルクティーは特に美味しいと思います。普通に頼むと日本人にとっては甘すぎると思いますので、「半糖・去氷」の条件で頼むと丁度よい甘さになると思います。フルーツも多く、グァバやオレンジ、写真にあるパッションフルーツなども美味でした。

 

住居(dormitory)での生活

借りた寮は1ヶ月で8000元(約3万円)でした。シャワーとトイレが一緒になっており、入居当初から蟻が大量にいる状況で、少し小汚いイメージがありました。部屋はそこまで広くありませんが、テレビが見れる環境であったり、LANケーブルがあるので通信には困らず、寝泊まりするには十分な部屋でした。寮の1階には10元で50分使える洗濯機があります。湿気が多いので、洗濯物は1日あってもなかなか乾きませんでした。室内干しの嫌な臭いが出るので、ファブリーズなどの衣類用消臭スプレーなどがあると効果的だと思います。11月は気温の変化が大きく、寝る前はかなり暑いと感じていても朝起きたらとても寒く感じる日も多かったです。そのため、私は11月後半に2日間体調を崩し、寝込んでしまいました。また、新竹は風の街ともいわれるほど風が強く、日本で言う台風並みの風が3日に1回は吹くぐらいです。風のせいで気温よりも寒く感じました。

 

交通

国立交通大のある新竹市内は、台湾の中でも原付が多く走っている地域だと感じました。下の写真にあるように、自転車を借りて新竹中心地に行くことが一番安くて早いですが、大通りの自転車走行は危ないと身をもって感じました。交通量の少ない道を通るか、バスを利用する方が良いと思いました。台湾の移動費の支払いは、基本的に「悠遊カード」というものが使用されています(日本で言うSUICA)。台湾では、日本と同じように流れ作業で電車やバスの乗り降りが行われており、現金で運賃を支払おうとすると嫌な顔をされますが、このカードを用いるとバスの乗り降りがスムーズに行うことが出来るうえ、若干の割引がありお得です。また、コンビニ、食堂やスーパーなど、様々な場所でこのカードが使用できます。台湾のMRTや駅内でカードが発行されていますが、私のようにコンビニで買うとデザイン付きの悠遊カードが購入できます(発行料100元)。

 

NCTUの学部生との情報交換会

11月22日(水)・23日(木)に、NCTU学部生の海外留学希望者の為の留学説明会があり、情報提供者として参加することになりました。各自好きな国のブースに行き、留学情報を得る為に対話をするという形式でした。昨年は学部生の前でプレゼンすると聞いていたので意気込んでいましたが、プレゼンすることは無く、日本代表として情報を聞いてくる人のみを相手する形になりました。文系のおすすめの大学を聞かれたりしました。異文化コミュニケーションをとるには良い機会でした。英会話や台湾の事、海外からみた日本文化についてなど、逆に多くのことを学ぶことができました。参加して良かったと非常に感じています。

 

新竹市内観光

1ヶ月間、悠遊カードを利用してバスで新竹市内を散策しました。お金がなかったため毎週土曜日に、クレジットカードの使えるBigcityに行きご飯を食べたり、食料品や消耗品の買い出しをしました。Bigcityの中にはGUやDAISO、ユニクロや無印良品など、日本発祥の店が多く並んでいました。新竹駅の近くには、城隍廟夜市と呼ばれる夜市がありました。私が訪れたのは昼頃でしたが、多くの店が開かれており、台湾・新竹名物の「ビーフン」「貢丸湯」を扱っている店が多くありました。英語が伝わらなく、昼間なのに人が多くて夜市内で食べることが出来なかったのが非常に心残りです。交通大と新竹駅の間には、十八尖山というハイキングコースがある植物園のような山がありました。土曜日行ったときは10秒に1人すれ違うぐらいに人が多かったです。40~60代ぐらいの方が多く、道の途中には筋トレの器具と標識があったり、「健康」と書かれた文字が多く見られました。山の中では太極拳の練習をしている場所もあり、高齢者の運動場所にちょうどいい場所なのだと感じました。また、山の頂上には新竹市内を見渡せる場所があり、非常に気持ちの良い景色が見られました。他には新竹動物園へ出向きましたが、この1年は改修工事のため園内には入れませんでした。先輩の話ではカバや白ダチョウなど、日本ではめったに見れない動物が格安で見れるという話であったので、残念でした。

 

 

台北観光

台湾最終日、バスで台北に行きました。行きのバスで往復券を切られ、片道で2回分のチケットを使ってしまうことが起きました。その為、本来は故宮博物院へ行き、士林夜市に行ってから台北101へ行く予定でしたが、お金と時間の都合で北の方に行くことが出来ませんでした。台北101では、非常に高い建物を下から眺めることが出来ました。昼ご飯は台北で有名な中華料理店「鼎泰豊」で小籠包とチャーハンを食べました。本場の小籠包は中身のスープに鶏の味が非常に濃く、とても美味かったです。その後買い物をしましたが、新竹と違い台北は日本人観光客も多く、店員は日本語・英語両方を喋る人が多くおり、安心感がありました。また、積極的に試食させてくれるので、試食だけでおなかがいっぱいになりそうでした。時間が経過し、夜景を見るために台北101の89階の展望台へ登りました(540元)。2015年までは世界一の高速エレベーターと言われており、89階に着くまで1分も掛からずすぐに登ることが出来ました。頂上は台湾の夜景を一望できる貴重な場所であったと思います。高いお金でいい経験が出来たと思いました。台北101に行った後、台北で有名な「アイスモンスター」へ行きました。タピオカミルクティーかき氷を食べましたが、非常に量が多く、台湾人に向けて甘めに作られているため、後半の方は非常に食べるのが辛かったです。その後、有名なおにぎりを買いに台北駅近くの寧夏夜市に行きましたが、午後10時でも大行列が出来ており、バスの時間に間に合いそうになかったため、買うことが出来ませんでした。台北観光では、時間が足りず行けなかったところも多くありましたが、食べ物や景色は最高であり、台湾人の人柄の良さを感じることが出来ました。日本人には優しいと聞きますが、台湾人は単純に人と接するのが上手であり、コミュニケーション能力に長けているなと感じる観光でした。

 

台湾野球観戦

11月11日(土)に、桃園国際野球場で行われる千葉ロッテvs台湾代表の交流試合を見に行きました。桃園国際野球場までは、バスで新竹駅まで行き、新竹駅から中壢駅まで電車で移動、そこから歩きで桃園空港MRTのA21駅まで行き、A19の野球場前までMRTを用いて移動しました。 野球場では内野席が全て台湾応援で、ライトスタンドのみロッテ応援でした。自分は一塁側スタンドの上にいたので完全アウェイでしたが、台湾の独特の応援を感じる事が出来ました。日本では投球動作中に鳴り物応援は禁止されていますが、台湾では投球動作中に鳴り物が鳴り続けていました。また、台湾はどんなに点を取られてビハインド状態でも、ヒット一本で大きく盛り上がり、応援を単純に楽しんでいる感じがしました。台湾応援サイドに座っていたため、日本人なのに台湾を応援してしまいそうな雰囲気でした。千葉ロッテの選手はもちろん、台湾出身の陽岱鋼(巨人)や台湾首位打者の王柏融を見られたことが何よりも良かったです。また、日本野球と台湾野球のレベルの違いを球場で感じることができました。特に、投手力は日本野球の方が明らかに上手であり、台湾首位打者の王柏融でも日本の投手についていけていない感じがしました。ただ、数年前よりもレベルの差は均衡しているように感じたので、日本もより一層頑張らなければいけないと感じました。

 

台湾式ソフトボールの参加

愛媛大に来ていた友人のおかげで留学期間中、国立交通大応用化学科ソフトボール部にお邪魔していました。投球について日本のソフトボールとは大きく異なり、投げたボールが頭より低いままだとボールになります。ベース上にボールが落ちればストライクになり、台湾人は基本斜め上方向に投球していました。野球を経験している自分からすれば相当打ちにくく、縦振りに近い形で打たなければいけませんでした。部には初心者もいましたが、球が遅く誰でも当てやすいので、国民性が大きく反映されたルールだと思いました。皆で和気あいあいとした雰囲気で試合をしており、飛び入りした日本人でも非常に楽しく活動することが出来ました。

 

留学の感想

自分の留学の目的は主に3つで、「研究をする」「英語をできるだけ使う」「台湾(海外)文化を学びコミュニケーションする」ということでした。野球ばかりやってきた自分にとって、英語を用いて1ヶ月留学に行くことはとても困難だと思いましたが、国立交通大なら日本語でコミュニケーションとれる方が多く、良い機会だと思って気軽に留学することが出来ました。結果、1ヶ月の短期留学でしたが、留学して良かったと本当に思える有意義な1ヶ月でした。台湾の生活については、安くて美味しい食べ物も多く、街や大学内で台湾人の温かさを毎日のように感じました。愛媛大の先輩からネット環境や移動方法について情報を聞いていたので、桃園国際野球場に行って野球観戦したり、気軽に新竹中心地で買い物や観光することが出来ました。台湾での大学生活を実際に行えた事は、自分にとって非常に刺激になりました。自分たちで進んで実験し、ある程度終わったら部活に行き、メリハリのある環境を感じることが出来ました。また、研究室の生徒や、台湾交通大での留学説明会で出会った海外の人と、英語を用いて会話をする事ができましたが、英語で伝わらなかったり聞き取れなかったりすることが多く、プレゼンでも英語力の無さを痛感しました。今後、研究や仕事、勉強(特に英語力)や人間関係において、自分の習慣を変える大きなキッカケになると思っています。この気持ちを忘れずに、今後の研究生活や人生に役立てていきます。