Once I connected to a university in India online, I was able to see Japan from a new perspective

Kotoko Hasegawa
1st year, Department of International Legal Studies, Faculty of Law (at the time of study abroad)

Destination: St Teresa’s College (India)
Type of Study Abroad: Social Engagement Program (Online)

Every year, many Sophia University students study abroad in countries all over the world outside of Japan. How did they manage to find their way through the differences in languages, cultures, and lifestyles? Here are some voices of students who studied abroad.

In this program, participants connected online with St. Teresa’s College in India to learn about issues facing the developing countries, particularly in the state of Kerala in southern India. The topics include politics, economics, human development, the environment, and more. I was lucky enough to interact with India-related institutions in Japan and learn more about India as a multicultural society from historical and religious perspectives.

One thing I felt through the program was the importance of political participation. Kerala, despite being part of a developing country, has achieved human development comparable to that of developed countries. This was achieved through active political participation by its citizens. Compared to contemporary Japan, I was keenly aware of our low level of political interest and felt that this is an attitude that we should learn from India. Also, Indians living in a multicultural society had their own ideas about things and expressed them clearly while respecting each other. I feel that this is another skill that many Japanese lack.

By learning about India from various perspectives, I was able to deepen my understanding of India and reconsider Japan. Learning about the world is a good opportunity to broaden one’s perspective, and I hope to continue to be active in this field.

Sophia University

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