Zhang Li

"My Experience and Impressions of Studying at Nagoya University"

March 10, 2004

Since the time I joined the Graduate School of Languages and Cultures at Nagoya University Ifve received a frequent question: gYou came to Japan to study English Literature?h For some time I was so often asked this question I even began to doubt my decision to study in Japan myself. But as time passed I began to feel that I had made the correct decision. And with one year of study in the Department of Multicultural Studies at the Graduate School behind me, I should say I have learned a lot from this department, both from the teachers and from my dear fellow schoolmates.

The reason I decided to study here was the various research areas practiced in the Department of Multicultural Studies, especially in European Studies. There is research going on from linguistic studies to cultural studies of different European countries, and there are also studies of art, literature, mythology and so on. Cultural and language research is never isolated: cultures and languages in European countries, as anywhere, are always closely connected with each other. To improve our ability and enrich our knowledge, studying in a place with a strong research atmosphere and various research areas is quite essential. After my first year here, I feel that the Graduate School of Languages and Cultures at Nagoya University is just such a place.

During that year teachers in the graduate school have given me a lot of guidance and help in my study. Usually, people think that studying in England and being guided by English teachers is the best way to study for a student specializing in English literature. I understand that, and yet at the same time my study in Japan has given some new inspiration. English has become a global language, and research on English language and literature has likewise become an interest in countries all over the world. Through the effort of its many researchers, Japan is certainly a quite advanced country in this area. I joined the Graduate School here with this notion, and teachers in the graduate school have confirmed my impression. With rich experience in teaching and researching, and also close connection with English-speaking countries, my teachers have helped me a lot in my study.

There is another important point that impressed me a lot. As non-native students of English language and culture, my teachers showed me new ways of thinking about English language and literature, which may help us explore some important issues that native English studies of the subjects might neglect.

At the same time, foreign teachers in the graduate school have also helped me a lot. Many of the foreign teachers have work experience both in their own countries and other non-English speaking countries. What they provided me is not only their own language and culture but also the latest research movements in other countries. In this sense I should say that Nagoya University has provided me a highly diversified study and research environment.

I have also learnt a lot from my fellow schoolmates. Beside Japanese students, there are foreign students from different countries like Canada, South Africa and many other Asian countries at the Graduate School. This community provides the students an environment in which they can get the latest information relating to their study, both in their native country and many other different countries, quickly and directly.

I chose to study at the Graduate School of Languages and Cultures at Nagoya University because of the diversified subjects they provided. After one year of study and experiencing the research atmosphere here, I know I have made a fortunate choice. In the coming academic year, as I prepare my masterfs thesis, Ifm looking forward to getting more guidance and help from my teachers and fellow schoolmates.

@© 2002, Department of Modern European Studies
@Graduate School of Languages and Cultures
@Nagoya University, Japan
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