Student Experience

Experience sharing as a STEPS International Exchange Student in Saitama University

I was selected from University of Peradeniya as a short term exchange student to Saitama University, Japan. I studied in Saitama University for five months from 19th September 2023 to 9th February 2024. While sharing my experience, I think and I am completely sure that this was the best experience I ever had in my whole life.

As I could speak and write Japanese, it was an added advantage for me to adjust to the culture and the local Japanese community. As we are exchange students, the hospitality and support from the host University is great. They really help and even we receive a tutor to support our daily deeds and adjustments in Japan. They took us to several places and tried their best to show us the beautiful Japan its culture. I had a real Japanese family experience twice where I participated a host family visit and host family staying program.

There was a ‘Japanese culture’ class, where we studied almost all the important cultural facts in Japan. And every class was very practical and we learnt new things every week. With the help of the class teacher we went to several places and within that most important visit was to the visit to ‘National Diet’ in Japan, where not even all Japanese people get chance to go inside and see. And the course ‘Intercultural Communication Workshop’ opened us a space to communicate with more English speaking Japanese students and many international students in Saitama University. We presented our country and its cultural and important facts to high school students in a near Municipal High School, under the guidance of the professor.

As in summary, I really glad to be an exchange student here in Japan. It encouraged me more to study communities and cultures. As I lived with many international students, not only my Japanese language skills improved, but English language skills also improved. I got more confidence to myself to communicate with native English and Japanese speakers. All the people I meet here are kind and grateful. It’s a glad that almost all the international students and Japanese students; especially who lives near the dormitory, know me and they really liked to ask about Sri Lanka.

Finally, I would like to encourage undergraduates, and also graduates to try those kinds of programs and it will really give a fabulous and uncountable experience to your life.

H.D.Dilki Nawodya Amarathunga

Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

My experience about HUSTEP program

Hello everyone! I am G.K.Dulmini Tharushika currently studying at Hokkaido University, Japan as an exchange student. Before coming to this program I was studying at University of Peradeniya, Faculty of Arts, Department of Economics and Statics as a third year undergraduate. Here I would like to share my experience with you.

The biggest reason I should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world. By studying abroad, I experienced a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of Japan.

For me this is my first abroad experience. When I arrived in Hokkaido, I was fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When I studied abroad I found incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmosphere. I found that I have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.

Another advantage is graduate school admissions boards look very highly on exchange program. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations.

Here finally why exchange program? For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity.

Take this opportunity to travel the world with no commitments but to study and learn about new cultures. Studying abroad is an experience unlike any other. So this is my experience in Japan.

G.K.Dulmini Tharushika

Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

My experience about HUSTEP program

The Hokkaido University Short-Term Exchange Program (HUSTEP) was an amazing opportunity for me to study abroad and experience life in Japan. One of the best things about the program was the great exposure to international friends from all over the world. During my time at HUSTEP, I had classmates from various countries such as Russia, Germany, the USA, South Korea, Kenya, the UK, and many more. I enjoyed getting to know them, learning about their cultures, and practising my language skills with them. It was truly an eye-opening experience to see the diverse perspectives and backgrounds that everyone brought to the classroom.

Another unforgettable experience during HUSTEP was living in the "Keiteki-Ryo" dormitory on campus. The “F Building” of the dormitory was specifically designed for international students, and it was a melting pot of cultures. Living there allowed me to meet and interact with students from different countries, which helped me to broaden my worldview and learn about new cultures. We shared meals, cooked together, visited many places, and even organized events and parties in the dormitory. It was a great way to build friendships and create memories that will last a lifetime.

One of the unique things about the dormitory was the shared living spaces, such as the kitchen and lounge area. These spaces provided opportunities to socialize and get to know other students better. We would often cook and eat meals together in the kitchen, and watch movies or play games in the lounge area. It was a very communal living experience, and it made me feel like I was part of a big family.

Overall, my experience in HUSTEP was truly life-changing. The exposure to international friends and the hostel life in the "Keiteki-Ryo" dormitory in Hokkaido allowed me to develop my interpersonal skills and learn about other cultures. I highly recommend this program to anyone who is interested in studying abroad and immersing themselves in a new culture.

Vidura Gunawardhana

Department of Fine Arts, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

My experiences as an exchange student in Saitama University Japan

I was lucky to participate to the Spring and Fall exchange programs of the Saitama University, Japan, as one of the first students from the Faculty of Management who got selected to this exchange program with the support and the guidance of International Relations office of University of Peradeniya.

I would like to mention this opportunity as a milestone of my life because I gained lots of amazing experiences and collected wonderful memories which I can cherish forever throughout the year I spent in Japan as an exchange student. I took my first step under the cherry blossoms, and I kept my last footprint on first snow in Saitama University in last winter. Learning Japanese Language was an extra ordinally academic opportunity beyond my studies on my major which I could obtained through this exchange program.

Also, I could enjoy Japanese rich culture through the events which were organized by the international office of Saitama University and by traveling in the country. Visiting traditionally rich temples and seeing red Maple tree leaves in Kyoto, experiencing old Japanese heritage in Kawagoe, enjoying delicious food culture and majestic nature which are few of my favorites from the hundreds of them I enjoyed in Japan.

Moreover, because of this valuable opportunity I could made friends from all around the world, and it provided me the chance to experience other cultures without being narrow down to experience the Japanese culture. Not only having international events with them but also exchanging experiences and ideas nurtured my knowledge about cultures and about the world while going beyond geographical boundaries.

The exchange program to Saitama University gifted me not only academical but also life experiences such as being adapted to new environments, to face to challenges and to learning how to survive my own etc. My humble expectation to see other students grab these opportunities in future and to get shared their adventurous experiences.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude towards to the International Relation Office and Faculty of Management for providing me this priceless opportunity.

Mihiri Poorna de sillva

Faculty of Management, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

My experiences as an exchange student in Saitama University Japan

I am Sapna Divyanjalee Angel Tissera, a final year undergraduate from the department of Business Finance, Faculty of Management at University of Peradeniya. I participated to the Fall Student exchange program at Saitama University in Japan for six month.

As an exchange student at Saitama University, I have had the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture, language and experience a way of life that was vastly different from my own. The Japanese language intensive course which I engaged was particularly challenging, but it was also incredibly rewarding to see my language skills improve over time and I gained excellent grades for the Japanese language course.

Beyond the academical experiences, I could explore a highly respectful and disciplined culture in Japan. Attending the Kawagoe Festival which is one of the major traditional event was a fabulous memory, where I witnessed the marvellous Japanese culture.

One of the highlights of my experience was visiting to Tokyo which is the Capital of Japan. I was amazed by the bustling streets and endless shopping opportunities that the city had to offer. It was also incredible to visit Umihotoro Island in Tokyo.

In addition to all, I build good communication networks with my friends who are from different countries. I was so lucky to participate in their cultural events as well.

Last but not least, I also placed my first footprints on snow at Saitama University as a Fall season exchange program’ student.

Finally, I would like to highly recommend this golden opportunity which is provided by the International Relations Office at University of Peradeniya to anyone who has the chance to study abroad. And also thank you, Faculty of Management, for providing me with such a wonderful opportunity. I will forever be grateful to you all at University of Peradeniya.

Sapna Tissera

Faculty of Management, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.