International Joint Program

OQEANOUS Plus-IJP Report (TUMSAT 2023/Apr-2023/Sep)


Kasetsart University (The Kingdom of Thailand)
Graduate School of Kasetsart University
Course of Marine Science
First Year of Master's Program
P. S.

  I studied at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technologies (TUMSAT) in Japan for 4 months and a half, from April 10, 2023 to September 1, 2023, With this report, I aspire to provide helpful information to students considering the possibility of studying abroad or those intrigued by Japan.

[Reason for application]
  Throughout my life, I had always remained within my comfort zone, but my decision to apply for this program marked a crucial moment. It was a conscious choice to break free from the shell that had enveloped me, and I sought to challenge myself by studying abroad. Also, as someone who enjoys Japan and is constantly wondering about what it is truly like. This is a chance for me to get to know Japan beyond its surface. It provided me with an excellent opportunity to fully immerse myself in Japanese culture while also studying a topic that I'm interest.

[Student Life]
 My journey at TUMSAT began with a warm and inclusive welcome into the Environmental Measurement Laboratory. Initially, having my own place within a laboratory setting was unfamiliar and different from what I was accustomed to at my home university. However, as I adjusted to this new environment, I discovered the incredible benefits it offered.
 The laboratory was remarkably diverse, providing me with a rare opportunity to connect with people from various cultural backgrounds. This diverse mix of people here not only broadened my perspectives but also created a rich, international learning community.
 Also, the establishment of a core time, from 10 am to 3 pm. This structured schedule fostered an ideal environment for focused learning, allowing me to revisit previous lectures and adequately prepare for upcoming ones.
 While studying at TUMSAT, one of the most valuable experiences was the "Shipboard Training for Coastal Oceanography" class. This course provided hands-on practice in ocean measurement, microplastics sampling, and lab procedures. Working aboard a research vessel had allowed me to apply theoretical knowledge to practical scenarios. The experience gained in this class equipped me with essential skills for my future research projects. Also, the Seminar in Oceanographic Observation was a unique opportunity to engage with people in the Laboratory. Participating in lab members' presentations ignited ideas and inspiration for me to adapt to my future research when I return home.

PS_Photo 1) My shipboard training experience .jpg   PS_Photo 1) in the laboratory after.jpg
  Photo 1) Left: My shipboard training experience       Right: the processing in the laboratory after.

[Support from University]
 Throughout my time at TUMSAT, the support I received from the OQEANOUS Plus staff was exceptional. They were always ready to assist whenever I needed help and regularly checked on my well-being to ensure I didn't miss any crucial information.
 One significant aspect of their support was the provision of a dedicated tutor, who played a pivotal role in helping me adjust to life in this new environment. They provided invaluable guidance on matters such as opening a bank account and obtaining a residence card. These made me settle in comfortably.
  TUMSAT offered on-campus dormitory accommodations, conveniently located just a 5-minute walk from my laboratory building. These dormitories were a practical choice, especially for someone like me who wasn't inclined toward cooking. With numerous restaurants around the university and pre-made meals available at the supermarket, I had a variety of dining options to choose from. My dormitory's location near a river offered a serene setting, allowing me to relax after a long day of study. This beautiful view was a constant source of comforting.

PS_Photo 2) A Park near river is my favorite place.jpg   PS_Photo 2) the premade meal in Maruetsu.jpg
  Photo 2) Left: A Park near river is my favorite place, after sunset the beautiful light will also turn on
  Right: the premade meal in Maruetsu (24hr supermarket) is good and suitable for a day that you can't decide what to eat for dinner!

[Life Outside University]
  Beyond the classroom, I had an exhilarating journey through Japan's diverse landscapes. TUMSAT's location near Shinagawa station, coupled with Japan's efficient transportation system, provided me the freedom to explore a wide spectrum of Japan's terrain, from scaling mountaintops to basking on picturesque coastlines, and from rural countryside to vibrant modern cities. Furthermore, Tokyo's abundance of fascinating museums, some of which I could visit for free with my student card, enriched my cultural experiences.
  Moreover, there is a numerous festivals held throughout the year. These festivities provided me with unforgettable moments. Whether it was participating in traditional rituals or witnessing spectacular displays, these festivals added a unique dimension to my time in Japan.

PS_Photo 3) On the left is My hiking to Mt. Kiso.jpg   PS_Photo 3) view from the cape at Shimoda.jpg
Photo 3 Left: 1 My hiking to Mt. Kiso-Komagatake from Senjojiki Cirque  Right:a view from the cape at Shimoda, Shizuoka

Facing the Language challenge:
  Certainly, one of the most significant challenges during my time here was navigating daily life in Japan with limited Japanese language skills. Although it's undeniable that fluency in Japanese would have made my life considerably smoother, I discovered that Japanese people are exceedingly polite and often go out of their way to communicate. Equipped with only basic Japanese, I managed to navigate most situations with a simple "daijoubu desu" (it's okay).
  Also, academic tasks and social interactions was indeed a formidable challenge. Yet, it was through these challenges that I experienced significant personal growth. The patience and support extended by my friends and professors had a crucial role in my language learning journey. Their willingness to explain concepts and engage in meaningful discussions transcended language barriers.
Academic Transition:
 The field of study I pursued here diverged from my previous interests and coursework back at my home university. This academic shift posed its own set of challenges, but it was an exciting experience that allowed me to embark on a new learning path. TUMSAT became the first step in my exploration of this field of study. While I anticipated that this transition might initially present some difficulties and that I might find myself trailing behind my peers, it turned out to be a great experience. My fellow students were incredibly helpful, and I've gained a lot of knowledge and acquired valuable insights.

 My exchange program with OQEANOUS Plus at TUMSAT has been a transformative journey. It pushed me beyond my comfort zone, allowing me to discover new facets of myself. As I reflect on this remarkable journey, I wholeheartedly encourage anyone with a desire to explore a new culture to consider this program at TUMSAT. The opportunities for learning, personal growth, and unforgettable experiences are boundless. It has instilled in me a mindset that there's nothing I can't do anymore.
 Moreover, it not only provided with an exceptional education but also offered me a glimpse into the beauty of Japan and its warm, welcoming people. It's a journey I will forever cherish, and I am immensely grateful for this, most importantly, I wish to emphasize that above all else, the most treasured outcome of this experience has been the meaningful friendship I found along the way.
 To anyone considering this adventure, I say with confidence: Take the leap, embrace the unknown, and embark on your own transformative journey at TUMSAT. The world is waiting to be explored, and TUMSAT is the perfect launchpad for your dreams and aspirations!