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Students' Voice

Casper WITS

Assistant, Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University
(Graduated MA program in 2013 and Ph.D. program in 2016)

Non-western perspective deepens my research

I am from the Netherlands, and I came to Japan 6 years ago. From my childhood onwards I have been fascinated by East Asia and the relations between different cultures. I enjoyed learning languages so I decided to learn Japanese and Chinese so that I could better understand people from a different background to me. Fortunately I have been able to live in China, Taiwan, and Japan; learning a lot about East Asia and about myself in the process. The Netherlands and Japan have had an important relationship from the early Edo period onwards, so I always felt it was natural for me to move to Japan to pursue further graduate studies. Because I am interested not only in the relations between East and West, but also in relations within East Asia, I decided to come to the Graduate School of Global Studies because of the dedication of the many staff members to researching various international issues from a non-western perspective. The unique experience of studying in the middle of the historic city of Kyoto with a very diverse group of fellow students has given me a global outlook in my studies.
Casper Wits Photo
Right now I am very excited about the next stage in my career, where I hope to be able to contribute to the University's knowledge about the modern history of East Asia. With the many problems facing East Asia, I believe the international outlook on which the Graduate School of Global Studies is grounded is more important than ever to make sense of the rapid developments in international affairs in the region. I am looking forward to continue the pursuit of knowledge in the stimulating work environment of the Graduate School and I hope to meet you there soon!

TAI Ayano

Human Resources and Welfare Department, KANDENKO co., ltd.
(Graduated MA program in 2016)

Expanding my horizons through diverse encounters

I have been interested in African American culture and discrimination issues since my undergraduate years. I have taken a wide range of courses in the graduate program that have expanded my interest to other issues and fields. I was particularly impressed by the methodology of representation that was introduced to in my courses of Gener and Japanese cinema. For the theme of my Master's thesis, I chose to examine representations of African Americans in interracial buddy films particularly revolving around race, gender and sexuality.
The most important thing that I learned in the Graduate School of Global Studies is to value and respect diversity. Especially the small group class environment encouraged me to actively express my opinion as well as made me aware of different values through hearing others' views. Such active commitment and tolerance is something that will surely help you when you get out into the world.

ayano tai photo
When I was about to seek employment I pondered whether to do what I like for a living or not, but after reflecting on what my ideal life plan is, I came to the conclusion that what I do for fun and what I do as a job do not necessarily need to be the same thing. In fact, I am quite satisfied with my current well-balanced lifestyle where I devote myself to work on weekdays and enjoy the weekend with my hobbies.
I am currently working in the recruiting team of the labor department of our company's headquarters. I am hoping to contribute to the company's further advancement by making use of what I learned in the Graduate School of Global Studies in recruiting human resources with diverse talents.