I have enrolled at Sophia University three times and I am presently studying in the PhD program of the Graduate School of Global Studies. I am now in the process of taking tutorials with my dissertation mentor to decide on the theme for my doctoral thesis.
I first became a student of Sophia in 1977, when the International College of Liberal Arts was called the ‘International Division’ and located in the Ichigaya campus. The students were mostly returnees from overseas and foreign exchange students. Many courses were held late at night and a large number of students were older – either those who were studying while working or those with past work experience.
The International Division attracted students of various nationalities with diverse cultural backgrounds. Conversations with students were always stimulating and brought new discoveries. With students varying in age and nationality, I was thus in a ‘borderless’ environment. In this unique environment I came to develop a ‘metropolitan’ sense of mind. The basic initiative of a news anchor person – following diverse news stories and speeding off anywhere for the coverage – was formed during my days studying in the International Division.
My second enrolment was soon after I started my career, at the age of 27. I became involved in news broadcasting while I was still a student of Sophia and I continued on after graduating; however, I had second thoughts about drifting into this industry as a fulltime occupation. I was constantly asking myself, ‘Do I really want to work in broadcasting?’ At the time, I was put in charge of programs such as ‘News Station’ and ‘CNN Day Watch’ but eventually decided to return to study. I entered the bachelor program of the Faculty of Comparative Culture (at the time) and majored in political science.
This experience made me re-interpret what I had seen and understood through presenting news coverage from a systematic and historical perspective, asking what meanings incidents reported in the news actually carry. Having stepped aside from the work, I gained a different perspective and identified that journalism was indeed the career I wished to pursue, and TV broadcasting in particular. I then returned to Fuji Television’s news division where I am presently working.
My third enrolment was in 2007, to enter the Graduate School of Global Studies. I had begun to feel totally ‘empty’ because my work consisted of mainly output. Moreover, I’d developed an illusion that I knew and understood everything. But on the other side of this notion was a feeling of insecurity, that maybe I didn’t know anything at all. This sense of crisis resulted in my entering graduate school. Entering school again in my late 40s and continuing working was not easy. Following the lectures, reading a huge amount of English materials and books, and writing research papers in English were strenuous. However, what kept me going was the different intellectual stimulus of the graduate level; through that, I took a multifaceted perspective and approach which I utilized in the political and economic issues I covered daily.
Having earned my Master’s degree, I am now enrolled in the doctoral program (second semester) and am currently discussing with my dissertation mentor how to narrow down the theme for my PhD dissertation.
The tradition of the FLA is simply ‘diversity’. Studying alongside other talented students of diverse nationalities and backgrounds, and thinking about and discussing issues in English is one of the biggest benefits of the FLA. The world is on the wave of globalization and as a result, the ‘world is becoming flat’. In such a world, people capable of intercommunicating freely, regardless of borders, are widely in demand. I, as a senior student in the FLA, have high expectations that the Graduate Program in Global Studies will foster more and more such manpower, to help provide the global awareness and rich education that the modern world demands.
Yuko Ando, ’96, FCC. A regular anchor person and reporter for several programs, including ‘TV Scoop’, ‘The News Station’, and ‘CNN Headline’ till 1988. From 1989, she has worked with Fuji Television Network as an anchor person for ‘Super Time’, ‘News Japan’, and currently appears on their evening news program ‘Super News’ from Monday to Friday. She is also a doctoral student at the Graduate School of Global Studies majoring in Japanese Politics.