I spent five years in the Department of Japanese Studies based at the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies in Kyoto. Since only a small number of students are enrolled in this department, the atmosphere is a little different from an ordinary university campus. However, the quiet, relaxing study environment allowed me to concentrate on my research and to work closely with my encouraging supervisor. Also, international as well as domestic specialists in Japanese Studies visit the center where various lectures and symposiums are frequently held. While studies related to my research topic inspired me and enabled me to develop my ideas, I was fortunate to have opportunities to learn about issues discussed in different fields.
I entered the Department of Fusion Science in SOKENDAI believing that I would, by my own hands, realize a nuclear fusion reactor. Each department in SOKENDAI is based in a world-class institute. SOKENDAI provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be a researcher, offering opportunities for studying with researchers and students from around the world. I feel that SOKENDAI has a good environment for students who have strong ambitions regardless of their academic background, race, and age. I had worked as an engineer for about 10 years in private companies after receiving a master's degree from SOKENDAI. Recently I obtained a Ph. D. after completing the SOKENDAI three-year doctoral program course. Although, at times being a researcher may be difficult, SOKENDAI is a graduate university which will give recognition for your efforts.
I am studying the mateials structure science with neutron diffraction and scattering at MLF in J-PARC. Due to Sokendai is a graduate school based on facility, the number of reasearchers is large and students is rather small. These unique systems lead to some special advantages of Sokendai. On research site, their research shares the same scientific tools, but spectrum of the research is quite broad. Therefore, it is common but great opportunity for us to discuss with the experts in each field. I really enjoy it. Furthermore, Since the MLF in J-parc, where I work and study, is world-class neutron facility, many researchers around the world apply to the MLF to conduct their experiments at high competition rate. But as a Sokendai student, we can do our experiment without a high competition rate. I think these experiences are advantageous for us to broaden our scientific horizons.
For students who want to become researchers in statistical science and machine learning in the future, I think the Institute of Statistical Mathematics is a very favorable environment. The curriculum is extensive, students from other fields can acquire statistical knowledge through classes after admission. There are many statistical books and magazines in the library, and supercomputers and various software can be used as well as full-time researchers. In addition, seminars are frequently held in the institute, you can get acquainted with national and foreign statistical researchers if participating actively. Sokendai welcomes students who are motivated, offers adequate support including financial aid. Life at Sokendai will maximize your ability as a researcher.
Coming from a different education system and environment, I found SOKENDAI's education system really interesting. I really liked the approach used to teach the courses as in a course each lecture is delivered by the Professor who has expertise in that area. Beside this, the course curriculum is really flexible allowing students to attend the courses at the other institutes. Being part of the Department of Genetics at National Institute of Genetics, I feel blessed as the research environment is extremely wonderful. The activities like Life Science Retreat and seminars by the renowned researchers allow the students to broaden their perspective of research. Students are always encouraged to attend the International or National conferences by supporting their travel expenses. Above all, SOKENDAI Student Dispatch Program provides the amazing opportunity for the students to excel in their research field. In my opinion what a student can have or do at SOKENDAI is:
(Support, Opportunities, Knowledge, Excellent environment, New horizon, Develop skills, Achieve goals, Improve)
At Evolutionary Studies of Biosystems (ESB), there are systems that you can proactively advance your study. One of the systems is the support for travel expenses in field surveys and study presentations at home and abroad. I studied the behaviour of wild Japanese macaques and needed ongoing field surveys, so this system helped me a lot. In addition, there are faculty members and students who are conducting study in various fields at ESB. The boundaries between the fields are very low, and you can freely interact with anyone. Therefore, it is possible to advance study by incorporating knowledge and methods from other fields. I was very happy to be able to concentrate on my study in this favorable environment towards getting a Ph.D.