【Faculty of Science and Technology】
Matthew Lindley from U.S.A
Course: Green Science Course, The Faculty of Science and Technology
When looking for a university I had three criteria in mind: I wanted to attend a program that featured a high amount of student-professor interaction, provided the opportunity to do research as an undergrad student, and was academically rigorous. Given these criteria, I am very happy with my choice of Sophia University's Green Science Program.
The program's small class sizes allow a lot of student-professor interaction, and encourage questions and dialogue rather than straight lecture. The professors are incredibly friendly, and take time to look after us international students. This habit starts at the top; When cherry-blossom season came to Sophia our dean cordially invited the Green Science Students to a hanami party (a traditional Japanese picnic under the cherry blossoms) with him and his research students. In the same vein, our professors have consistently gone out of their way to make us feel at home at Sophia, be it providing a place to hang out during lunch or between classes (which has allowed us to meet and befriend many fourth year and graduate students, themselves a valuable resource for the new student), or helping us with questions or concerns about life in Japan, or just being available for questions concerning schoolwork or academic pursuits.
The Japanese students at Sophia have proven to be very friendly and fun loving, and they make the campus a very active environment. Sophia's location in central Tokyo also cannot be beat. Tokyo is an amazing city!
My goal is to become a scientist. Sophia is an important step in this goal. I knew I had made the right choice in attending Sophia about two weeks into my first semester when our physics professor took interested students (myself one of them) to Japan's KEK particle accelerator. He gave us a tour of the facility and we observed an experiment he was his research students were doing using the accelerator's hard x-ray beam. It was amazing. I have since visited the on-campus labs of a number of other Sophia professors and research groups, all of them doing interesting and important research: From studying the DNA of soil organisms to develop eco-friendly pesticides, to modelling atmospheric emission paths from the Fukushima Accident, to doing spectroscopy on greenhouse gases. These are just the small handful of the research labs at Sophia. In all of them students, both graduate and undergraduate, play a major role. I like that. Next year I will have to choose one lab to join, and my senior year will be devoted to research with that group. It will be a difficult decision given how interesting everything has been so far, but it is one I look forward to very much.
Claudio Lucas Salgueiro Freire from Brazil
・Brazilian “Science Without Borders” Program: Undergraduate Sandwich Course
Course: Green Engineering Program, The Faculty of Science and Technology
Sophia University was my first choice for the Brazilian “Science without Borders” Program because it was located in Tokyo, the capital of Japan, and was known as a great university.
It is a unique opportunity that I’ve been experiencing so far at Sophia University. What I learned in the last semester significantly improved my academic knowledge at the engineering field and physics field. In the laboratory classes, I managed to learn how the theory and its application actually works on real situations through experiments and observations. The structure of the laboratories is very favorable, and the methodology of the professors facilitates the learning due to the high interaction with the students.
I am also able to improve beyond the academic side. I am taking a Japanese language course regularly. In addition, I am learning new languages such as English, Spanish and even French through the conversation with international students at my dormitory. This experience helps me not only just to talk with more people but also to seek for scientific materials for research in other languages.
In other words, my study at the Sophia University is providing me a lot of opportunities to improve more than I could expect on my academic and personal side.