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Randi, Exchange Student From EDHEC Business School, France

Randi, EDHEC Business School

We were joined by Randi, an exchange student representing EDHEC Business School in France. Randi shared his experiences and reflections on life in Japan and academic pursuits at NUCB. His insights offer a unique look into the cultural nuances and learning environment that he has encountered during his exchange program.

What is your favorite aspect of Japanese culture, and how has it influenced you?

Respect is a standout quality in this country. Everyone here is incredibly respectful, and you can see it in the way every rule is diligently followed. It's not to say that in Europe people don't adhere to rules, but there's a noticeable difference in the level of adherence. A simple example is the fact that almost no one crosses the street on a red light. This experience has made me reassess my relationship with rules and how much importance I place on following them.

Can you talk about a particularly inspiring or influential professor or class at NUCB?

One class I'll definitely remember is Digital Transformation with Professor Louie Wong. I'm really interested in the digital world, so coming in and having the opportunity to take a class that showed me all the steps and process you need to go through if you want to successfully digitalize a company was super helpful. Professor Wong was always there to guide our discussions, he was open when I wanted to ask questions, and the fact that he himself was working in multinational companies in digital departments made me think, "Yes, I need to listen to him; he knows what he's talking about."

Can you describe a typical day in your life as a student at NUCB?

A typical day for me usually involves coming to school in the morning, either for classes or to work independently. I attend my classes, and after school, I consistently head to the gymnasium to play basketball or football. Once a week, I make it a point to come to school to meet up with my language exchange partner, Rio. He has been instrumental in assisting me with my Japanese language skills, and surprisingly, even with my English. Teaching English to Rio has revealed areas where I still have things to learn, creating a mutually beneficial language exchange.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your studies in a new and different environment?

I consistently remind myself that I'm on an academic exchange, not a vacation. Even when I travel, I make a conscious effort to maintain a balance and prioritize academic excellence.

What are some misconceptions you had about Japan that were changed after living there?

I initially thought that Japanese people were closed-minded, influenced by information about the challenges foreigners might face when arriving in Japan. However, during this exchange, my interactions with Japanese people have been incredibly positive. I've found them to be exceptionally helpful. For instance, there was a time in the city center when we were lost and searching for a restaurant. We approached two Japanese girls for directions, and to my surprise, they went out of their way to accompany us all the way to the entry of the restaurant. While it may seem insignificant, that particular incident is one of the memories that has left a lasting impression on me during this exchange.

How do you think you will benefit from the case method teaching approach at NUCB?

The first class was quite intimidating for me because I didn't fully understand what was going on and how the learning process worked with the case method approach. However, over time, I've come to realize that it has significantly benefited me, particularly in my research methods. To actively participate, I need to grasp the subject matter thoroughly. Moreover, it has aided me in expressing and organizing my thoughts more effectively in English. Additionally, the case method has played a crucial role in improving my public speaking skills.

What advice would you give to someone from your home country who is considering studying abroad in Japan?

I would advise others to forget preconceived notions about Japan, especially if they are coming from France, as the two countries differ in many ways. Just come and go with the flow, and you'll discover how incredible it is. People here are incredibly helpful and friendly towards foreigners, and there is so much to see and learn. Another piece of advice would be to try and learn some basic Japanese words. It can be extremely helpful in various situations, such as navigating a grocery store.