"I've just finished writing my Master's thesis. My major is Cognitive and Information Sciences, and I'm doing research on how Independent Factor Analysis can be used to understand human behavior.
"One of the best things about my studies here was getting individual instruction from my advisor. Also, since there's a lot of interchange among the five divisions of cognitive and information sciences, I got to know professors in philosophy and linguistics."
Park Byung Joon, Korea
"The Japanese language is a major part of my life. When I was an undergraduate student back home, I studied one year at Chiba University as a Japanese studies student. After graduating I began working at the Japanese embassy in Bulgaria, but Japanese itself was so interesting for me, and I had spent so much effort to learn it, that I didn't want to give up my studies. So I reenrolled in Chiba in 2000 as a research student. Now I'm doing research on Japanese mimetics, and I've finished my Master's thesis.
"I love the spacious campus here, and just talking with my friends on the benches in front of the library."
Elena Pantcheva, Bulgaria
"What I'm studying now is Japanese history during World War II, and all the graduate courses related to my major are fascinating. I've been interested in history since high school, but in university I've learned a completely new view of history, which has really enriched my view of the world.
"Right now I'm tutoring three hours a week at the International Students' Room. All sorts of students come there, but I'm especially happy when I can do something to help new exchange students, and it's always fun making new friends.
When I have free time I go swimming in the pool and play tennis. The seasons are very distinct in Japan, so both summer and winter have their special pleasures."
Xu Jing, China
"I'm a third-year student majoring in Sociology. I'm attending a seminar in problems of foreign residents, and our professor's lectures are fascinating. I've decided to write my graduation thesis on foreign workers in the IT industry.
"Through the recommendation of a friend of mine I got the chance to teach Chinese to groups of Japanese people off campus. Most of them are older than me, but they treat me as a friend."
Ren Gui Yu, China
"In the History Department the students can choose their field of research freely, and receive ample backing to support their studies. I'm interested in contemporary art, and I'm enjoying classes dealing with media literacy and art history."
"I'm also enrolled in a study group on modern jazz. I enjoy corporeal expression, and sometimes I perform on campus. It's great to be able to associate with my fellow students who have the same interests."
Ignacio Adriasola, Chile
"I'm a first-year student in the Japanese Culture Studies Division. In my division, during the first year, there's a year-long seminar with just six or seven students. It was a great experience and I was astounded at the depth of our professor's knowledge.
"In the future I'd like to work as a translator. I've even entered a translating competition, and translated a short story from Japanese into Korean. It was a good experience.
Kim Kyon Son, Korea
"I entered Chiba University as a Japanese studies student in October 2002. I'm hoping to make progress in Japanese before I go home. I've become good friends with my personal tutor, as well as with my fellow international students. Sometimes we have parties at the international students' and Japanese students' dorms on weekends."
Maria Kostrova, Russia
"I do improvisational comedy, which I studied for about three years in America. I just found out there's a group that does it in Tokyo, in English, so I'm going to be taking some classes there.
"Come with an open mind. Come here not trying to think this is America, because this is not. I've just taken the approach that this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I should just treat each day as a little adventure, in trying to embrace the things that are different. I might not always understand everything, but I should at least appreciate it for its uniqueness."
Dan Stone, U. S. A.