Why did you choose Japan to further your studies?
One of the main reasons was that Japan is an amazing country with a unique and quirky culture, which is what most people would say. And I’m also a car enthusiast that loves to explore new places, and Japan has a very rich and diverse automotive culture where you would discover various types of cars owned by passionate Japan, ranging from the great classic JDM cars to the exciting and modern European exotics. And you could achieve them by either visiting their biggest exhibition, the Tokyo Motor Show, or to their global headquarters (Nissan Gallery Global HQ), and factories (Toyota Motomachi plant) and even some of the “hidden gems” I typically go to (Daikanyama T-Site and Daikoku Futo). Wherever you are, Japan has plenty of events that can make you feel like a kid at a toy store!
NUCB is one of the only universities in Japan that offers a 4-year undergraduate business course in English. Another factor was the unique Case Method, which mainly involves participating in the discussion throughout the class about a case that involves a company or government, or any other organization that was dealing with a situation. I feel that this approach is more suitable for my personality. This is because rather than having a traditional approach that involves mainly lectures and typical final exams to take the majority of the grades, NUCB mainly focuses on the class discussion and participation and final reports to take up those grades. For me, this approach made me feel more comfortable and confident in how I express my thoughts and opinions, regarding any topics that are related to the business context, along with some historical and political contexts that play with it.
Another compelling reason is the scholarship opportunities that you could get, such as JASSO and NUCB’s housing scholarship. These are achievable if you have taken IELTS or TOEFL and of course, have a good academic record. You could even have more chances once you’ve developed your Japanese by taking the JLPT. And last, but not least, is because of its amazing exchange program, which you get to study in any country you desire (be it Europe, America or other Asian countries) for either the entire semester or 1 year.
Tell us about your weekly schedule?
The usual weekly schedule would depend on the year you’re currently at. As a 2nd year student, I’m currently having the afternoon classes online, which pretty much took up the entire afternoon. So in the mornings, I would wake up and finish the assignments before the class starts. If I got some extra time, I would try to read the case so that I can get the gist of what each case is about. While every lesson each day lasts for 200 minutes (2 periods combined), we always have 20 minutes in between those periods, so I would either chill at the dorm or take a stroll at the convenience store with my mates. But if it’s on campus, we would go to 7-Eleven and buy our snacks or would chill outside the classroom to have a chat with my classmates and some exchange students. After classes, we have a lot of free time, especially after the morning classes. So I would do the things I enjoy.
What do you do in your spare time?
During my spare time, I usually take a stroll around Nagoya or other parts of Japan, in order to keep me excited from discovering and exploring new “hidden gems” around Japan. If I’m not going out for trips, I would be involved in other activities and projects outside of my university, such as my role as a designer and content creator for a circle within another university, called Ryugaku Circle. I’m also working on an upcoming personal project dubbed Automovision, which is covering stories on one of the rarest and most interesting cars around Japan and beyond, through the people or places that have these unique treasures.
What is your favorite thing about living in Greater Nagoya?
The best thing about living in Greater Nagoya is the fact that you’re in the middle of Japan, which is sandwiched between Tokyo/Hokkaido and Osaka/Kyoto. This means that you could travel either of those places more easily, either by Shinkansen (Japan’s high-speed bullet train) or by bus or even by car (if you’re lucky to have a friend that owns a car here!). You can also get a student discount for Shinkansen or bus, by visiting the office of student affairs in order to make the most out of your life in Japan without hurting your wallet. As a car enthusiast and motorsports fan, Suzuka Circuit is just an hour away from Nagoya Station, which gives you the opportunity to experience the thrill of Formula 1 racing in one of the most iconic racing circuits in the world!
Have you participated in any competitions whilst a student at NUCB?
During my freshman year at NUCB, I participated in the Fuso Case Challenge along with my friends who are also in the same batch as I am. We had to come up with a pitch that can solve the current mobility issues for trucks and buses. We came up with an Uber-esque app that can solve the issue of bus transportation, and I was mainly involved in the branding and UI/UX design, as well as the editor for our final presentation. What’s fascinating about this was that my team had the skills that are so unique to each other that we’ve propelled to 2nd place, which we were so close to winning the free Germany trip!
Coming from an international school in Hong Kong offering A-Levels, how have you adapted to the Case Study method?
How I have adapted took me a little while. At first, it was a completely different experience from high school, especially with the approach they took for the Case Method. However, through A-Levels, I’ve acquired the critical thinking and analytical skills that were derived from the approach of answering the exam paper questions. What I mean is that I tend to provide some analysis and elaboration on the questions being asked from the Case Book as assignments. Therefore, I’ve managed to make a smooth transition from high school to university, especially after building up my confidence in participating in the case discussion over the first term.