【Faculty of Liberal Arts】
Ernesto Bolio from Mexico
Course: International Business and Economics Major, Faculty of Liberal Arts
My main criterion when looking for a University in Japan was one that would allow me to earn a degree in business in a high ranked school while being able to develop my Japanese skills. I chose Sophia because it met my main objective, and I am glad to say that it has gone above my expectations.
Sophia University not only has a good academic curriculum, but also it offers a wide range of opportunities for international students, putting it above other choices I had here in Japan and back in my country. First of all, the Japanese classes are small, this allows good communication with the teachers and it provides us with a favorable environment for personal development of the language. Furthermore, the Faculty of Liberal Arts stresses the importance of good communication skills, having a strong curriculum in core classes that have improved my oral and writing skills in English. I believe this has a good impact on us because we are not only improving a foreign language, but we also improve our English skills whether we are native English speakers or not.
In my case, I studied for a year in another University back in my country before coming to the Faculty of Liberal Arts. Comparing the business courses back home and the ones I currently take here, I would say the main advantage here is we are provided with different perspectives on the same topics since we learn in a multicultural environment, one of the things I like the most of Sophia University. Each semester we are given the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world that come from different backgrounds, making it a valuable experience that has changed my life on how I think about different countries and not only Japan. Nevertheless, Sophia University encourages the interaction between Japanese and foreign students since there are a lot of opportunities to interact with Japanese students through clubs or circles. For example, since my first year I attend a circle called SISEC, which encourages the friendship between Japanese and foreign students through several activities inside and outside Sophia, including a trip at the end of the semester.
Finally, towards my graduation I believe Sophia University has been of great help since it offers its students with constant information on internships and career fairs, including a career center that offers individual consultation. Therefore, from these points I can say that I am satisfied with my time spent in Sophia University, specially the Faculty of Liberal Arts, which has brought me great experiences both in the personal and academic development.
Pradeep Shrestha from Nepal
Faculty of Liberal Arts
When I first came to Japan, my initial intentions were to learn Japanese for two or three years and get into a Japanese University in the same way as a normal high school graduate would. However, this seemed quite time consuming and I already had taken more than a year-long break after I completed my high school. And it was then that I found out about degree programs offered completely in English in Japan. I had always wanted to get better at my English and learn Japanese at the same time, and these programs looked like the perfect opportunity to do so, which is why I looked for universities that offer these degree programs. After months of research, I ended up choosing Sophia because it looked like the only established English degree program in Japan. Moreover, I still had doubts about what I wanted to do with my life and choosing a specific career path was a daunting task. FLA offers a variety of courses and you have an option of choosing from three different majors. So, even if you change your mind after you enroll in the university, you can easily switch to another major. In addition to this, Yotsuya is literally the heart of Tokyo and everything you need is right next door, which makes life a whole lot easier. Furthermore, you can also have the choice of going to a study-abroad to a country of your choice for a year to gain some valuable life experiences.
I am still a sophomore and everything I have learnt so far have been really astonishing. Within these wonderful three semester that I have spent in the FLA, I have learnt numerous new things about the world and myself. I have come to many new self-realizations. I feel like I have changed. I question the beliefs that I have held dear to myself and I try to see the world from different perspectives, not just one. And for this I am very thankful to the highly co-operative professors and the diverse student body. There are a wide range of classes you can choose from. The classes usually consist of few students, and this gave me the opportunity to know other students and the professors well. Discussions have made my learning interesting, more so than ever. I have meet so many people from around the world. FLA is a really diverse family in every possible way you can imagine.
As for the plans after graduation, it was only after coming to FLA that I have decided to go to a graduate school. I want to learn more. Sophia is one of the top universities in Japan and this will help students to have good careers after graduation. Living and studying in Tokyo has been, by far the most wonderful experience of my life and I adore each and every minute of it. I would have never thought my life would be like the way it is now, which is why I am really thankful to FLA and Tokyo. FLA really is one of its kind.
Kawai Evgeniya from Russia
Faculty of Liberal Arts
When I decided to study in Japan, the main criteria in choosing a university for me was an international background – and international studies in the university.
The world is becoming closer. Only a century ago a trip to another country, exhausting and sometimes dangerous, would have taken weeks, even month. Now all you have to do is to buy your airplane ticket and have a seat in a comfortable chair for a couple of hours. Aircrafts, mass media, Internet make us feel the time shorter and the distance closer.
That is why, I suppose, in this increasingly changing globalized world it is particularly important to learn other countries’ languages, traditions and cultures; to learn how to co-exist, how to live in the international atmosphere, how to work in global spheres.
That was the main reason why I made my choice with the Faculty of Liberal Arts of Sophia University. It has the longest history of such an “international” faculty, which educates in English, in Japan. I like the global atmosphere of the faculty: students from all over the world study here, one can experience foreign culture and learn how to “cross the borders” not only theoretically by studying textbooks – but in practice, in everyday life communication with other students.
I also like the wide range of subjects that FLA offers. One can find here something that perfectly fits him or her – and still has an opportunity to make some studies from completely different field. Although my major is politics, I also take courses in History of Arts and Anthropology. I think it is extremely important in today’s world to have a broad mind – and FLA provides me opportunities to broaden it. Here I can study the cultural background and the changing realities of many countries, connecting them with my native culture, comparing and making conclusions. It was at the FLA, when after observing other cultures and learning about foreign states, I first asked myself, what exactly means to be Russian, what similarities and differences have the countries in today’s world.
Another big advantage of Sophia University on the whole – and FLA in particular – is its location in the center of Tokyo. You can get anywhere you want from here in 20-30 minutes. You are interested in traditional Japanese culture and arts? Imperial gardens, lots of beautiful Japanese-style parks, Buddhism temples and Shinto shrines are around here. Are you a fan of new technologies and Japanese modern art such as manga or anime? Then you can reach Akihabara just in 20 minutes after leaving Yotsuya campus. Such a convenient location gives you a lot of opportunities to spend your free time.
I want to work in the media industry after graduating university. I also want to live and work in several foreign countries. Sophia University and FLA provide me with all the skills and knowledge I will need to reach my goals. Wide range of studies about global society, its cultural and political features, social tendencies and trends; as well as knowledge of local societies will make it easier to work with people afterwards. Besides, communication skills that one gets through everyday interaction with other culture students and professors at the campus, I believe, will become a tower of strength for me, wherever I will go to follow my dream.
I am totally satisfied with my choice of FLA. More than that, I feel absolutely happy and sure, that Sophia is the right place for me.
Faculty of Liberal Arts
As a Japanese- American son of a diplomat raised in Japan, Guatemala, China, Turkey, the United States, and South Africa, I have been fortunate enough to have been educated with a unique global outlook. Having been raised in international schools and surrounded by culturally diverse peers from around the world, I have always thrived on learning new perspectives and reaching up to the highest standards. I have been drawn to Sophia University because of the challenging curriculum and the welcoming environment presented from my read of student voices and talks with former alumni. There is always room for growth in life and my decision in choosing to attend Sophia University was influenced by the belief that these new experiences will help me in developing the skills and abilities necessary to include myself in the rigorous and competitive world we live in today. Attending such a highly prestigious and reputable university has given me the opportunity to revisit Japan, and its distinctive culture, with a new frame of mind that will lead me to venture out and pave out trails for my future.
Advantages that I have gained with my experiences from the Faculty of Liberal Arts have definitely been the vast amounts of new connections and inviting atmosphere created by other students with interesting backgrounds. I think out of all of the faculties available throughout the university, the Faculty of Liberal Arts grasps the term “international” best. Not just with students coming back to Japan from overseas, but the idea of having the classes subjected to being taught in English also helps in attracting more international students. While new experiences may seem intimidating at first, a serene atmosphere is truly created with more exposure and sharing of global cultures plus lifestyles. Without a doubt, the international impression gives students an advantage and sense of perception that is not acquirable through other means.
Some interesting courses that I have taken are “Wellness, the Body and Culture” and “Thinking Processes”. It actually surprised me that a physical education course was mandatory due to the fact that it is optional in most other universities and even later years of many high schools. It was very informative and important in understanding our individual bodies and lifestyles as well as the importance of teamwork in various activities. When it came to “Thinking Processes”, a core course in the FLA curriculum, the way in which I think about things relating to the world surrounding me has changed by becoming more aware of certain situations and thought process itself. The course has allowed me to further develop analytical and interpretive skills from engaging in challenges towards different cultures, societies, and events in history.