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My Academic Life at Waseda University

Having been to Tokyo a few times in the past, I thought I knew what to expect when arriving at Waseda, located in the Shinjuku district. Streets would always be busy, lights always bright and the faint smell of smoke on every corner. However, what I soon learned was that these expectations came from my experiences as a tourist, and was not at all a reflection of how life in Tokyo would be.

Waseda is situated next to Takadanobaba and Shin-Okubo, both cities filled with huge buildings and swarming with people. However, the campuses and their surroundings are relatively quiet and peaceful. Cherry blossom trees bloomed in the many parks around the university. A five-minute walk from the campus and you would find a maze-like residential area where not many people come by and is quite dark during night time.

The Waseda campuses and its facilities are drastically different to UTS. Probably due to the lack of regional space, all the buildings are quite condensed. The university’s long history could account for its collection of historical buildings and artifacts, like the Central Library that was established in 1882. The Science and Engineering campus where I belong to, is especially interesting with its factory-like structures between buildings and its overall industrial aesthetic.

Classes at Waseda are more or less what I expected from a university. All the students typically sit in a classroom or laboratory while the professor teaches at the front of the room like any ordinary class in Australia. However, there are no lectures and we have one lesson per subject every week. Because I was limited to one department to choose subjects from, I am only taking Computer Science related subjects, which is not too different from my IT major at UTS. However, the content is pretty difficult so I am studying in my own time to keep up with the classes. What was surprising was the number of subjects we are expected to take while studying here. A full-time student at UTS generally took about 4 subjects per session, however at Waseda we are expected to take between 7 and 10. It is admittedly a challenge keeping up with this much content, but with a proper amount of revising I feel that there will be much to learn in this upcoming semester.

Although six months may seem like a long time to spend abroad by yourself, I can already feel it going by at a really fast pace. It has been less than a week since classes have begun and I already feel the need to revise and study to keep up with the classes. With that said, I know there will be much to learn during my time here, both in and out of the classroom. I am looking forward to the day I can return home with a new set of skills and outlook on the world.

Yukari Connelley
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
Waseda University
Japan

Australian Government New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient.

For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au

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