What is TUT Global House like? : Interview with four students enjoying the share house life.
The following is an interview with four students of the Global Technology Architects Course (GAC) who live in the TUT Global House, asking them about their memories of their time here.
NAGATSU En (Mechanical Engineering 4th year)
NAGAYAMA Tomoya (Mechanical Engineering 4th year)
TAN ZHI EARN (Kuro) (Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering 4th year)
TAKASU Rena (Applied Chemistry and Life Science 4th year)
What is TUT Global House?
A special place where we met friends through spontaneity
I had an intercultural experience that was different from what I had imagined
First, tell us why you chose the Global Technology Architects Course (GAC).
Nagatsu●There was the overseas OJT (internship) that was about two months long. I wanted to work as an intern under the direction of the professor engaging in research on combustion, my specialty, at a British university. Unfortunately, I could not go there due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I will work for the laboratories of a company in Nagasaki this year. After entering graduate school, I will try to go abroad again.
Nagayama●As a student at KOSEN (National Institute of Technology), I participated in overseas training and experienced a different culture. I selected Global House expecting to come into contact with many different cultures.
Kuro●GAC is the only Japanese university that admits students who do not have a command of Japanese. It was something that appealed to me. I chose GAC to learn the Japanese language while studying engineering. When I started at the university, I was only able to read a few Japanese characters. I can speak Japanese fluently now because my kind roommates helped me a lot.
Takasu●I have had on-the-job training overseas. I chose Global House because I wanted to live with students from overseas. For the first year, I shared a room with four students from Malaysia. Surprisingly, all of them already spoke Japanese fluently. It was different from what I had expected.
Nagayama●I shared a room with Kuro. He already spoke Japanese very well because he had lived here since before I came. All of the foreign students had a good command of Japanese. It was different from what I had envisioned. We spoke English sometimes, for instance, during the classes and online events.
Nagatsu●I lost all hope in my life here (laughs) when I opened the door of the room for the first time. I moved into a room that already had older students in it. I found cardboard boxes scattered on the floor and overgrown onions in the fridge. On the second day, I cleaned the room completely together with another newcomer.
Nagayama●We locked ourselves in our rooms for the first six months, hardly talking to each other.
Kuro●We made friends with each other after the birthday party for Nagayama-san. After that, we played board games or drank together if we had time. Now we dine together at least once a week however busy we are.
When did you notice cultural differences?
Nagayama●I asked foreign students to let me try foods and seasonings that were not familiar to me while they were cooking. The students from Vietnam always party very much when we drink together. It surprises me. They are usually quiet but party after they are done with their work.
Takasu●I got to know about and experienced their religions and halal food through parties and events. I learned that we should understand other cultures and consider them in everyday life after having experienced different cultures.
Kuro●Japanese people are polite and punctual. Trains arrive on time. It is amazing. I love that Japan is comfortable to live in.
I developed leadership skills and gained friends through various events
I heard that you proactively engaged in activities at Global House, such as planning events as a leader.
Nagayama●Last year I ran as a candidate for the Global House Student Council (GHSC) to change one situation: it was always the same people coming to events. Although we were not doing enough because of the pandemic, I exchanged ideas with Kuro and Nagatsu.
Kuro●One Day Camp is one of them. It is an event to welcome freshmen. The universities in Malaysia usually hold an orientation camp for freshmen that lasts about four days. We held the one-day event like that. About 70 students and teachers joined the event, playing games, jumped a long rope, and participated in a fashion show and a newspaper-based clothing competition. We had a fake campfire and danced together at the end of the event. That was the most impressive moment. Using fire is prohibited on the campus. So, we used lamps instead. It is a good memory. We enjoyed the summer festival too.
Takasu●I became a GHSC candidate because I wanted to develop personally, rather than bettering the surroundings. I had never displayed leadership in an organization. While making plans with Kuro-san and others, I started to think about how I could involve others. I felt the experience helped me develop. One result was a review of the rules for using the Assembly Room.
Kuro●The Assembly Room is a common space within the dormitory where you can hold events. Following a review of the rules, they were revised so that we are able use the facilities more comfortably than before.
Nagatsu●Although I was not a GHSC member, I asked a Malaysian student to talk about Manglish (a Malaysian and English creole), held an event to converse in English, and invited students to watch movies and soccer. Each of the events attracted nearly ten students.
If you only wait, you cannot bridge the gap between an ideal and the reality. That is why I took a proactive approach. If you keep doing something, someone will support you, and you can realize an ideal life at school together with other students. If you do nothing, there is no chance for success.
What event most impressed you?
Nagatsu●Many people helped me make a string of a thousand of origami cranes when one of the students was hospitalized. Even students who had never participated in events made paper cranes. The friend was pleased very much. I was relieved when he was discharged from the hospital. We are a group of kind people, even if some of them may seem indifferent to others.
Kuro●That was when I made paper cranes for the first time! We had an event for me to overcome my hatred of natto. We had a full meal based on natto. I enjoyed the meal because they cooked it creatively so that I could eat it. In truth, I'm still not very fond of natto (laughs).
I would like to utilize my experiences at Global House effectively for research and to help society
Tell us about life at Global House and about your future.
Nagayama●We all are good friends now and enjoy every day. I will move to another room within Global House when I go to graduate school in April 2022.
I am engaging in research on the measurement of the strength of plastic. It is important for society and in other ways to precisely measure the strength of reinforced plastic which is used for many different applications. Utilizing my experiences at Global House, I would like to try an array of things at a global scale.
Nagatsu●I will leave here and move to another dormitory at the university in April. I would like to contribute to solution of global social issues, including the SDGs, based on my experiences in Global House and my research on combustion.
Kuro●I would like to continue to be involved in the many activities of GAC as a master's program student. My research relates to solving issues related to new wireless communication methods. Keep an eye on this field which will become more important.
Takasu●I used to want to only hang out with very close friends. Now, I'm interested in meeting new people. I will move into another room within Global House in April. I look forward to meeting new friends. I am currently researching the toxins that insects excrete to protect themselves. Hopefully, the results of my research will help discover drugs and prevent harmful insects from causing damage or remove them.
There are some things that you have to do when living in Global House, such as cleaning your room every day. However, I'm sure you will enjoy your life there if you communicate with other students and stay thoughtful. That will help you learn and grow mentally.
（Interview / Text: Madoka Tainaka）
Editor and writer. She served as a member of the Information Science and Technology Committee at MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), and as the editorial desk of "NII Today," a public relations magazine of the National Institute of Informatics.
Her work includes interviews with researchers at universities and companies, production of content for executives, and planning, editing, and writing of books.