Hi everyone! My name is Adeline, and I came to Hokkaido University (HU) in 2016, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Japanese Studies, with a major in in Society and Political Economy in March 2021. HU is known to have one of the most beautiful campus in all of Japan. In year one and two, Japanese classes are compulsory to build up foundational Japanese, and in year three and four, we are free to take classes together with Japanese students in the respective faculties. In my case, I was interested in English Education in Japan, having graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic with a diploma in Child Psychology & Early Education. So, I took lessons in the Faculty of Education at Hokkaido University, and did my graduation thesis on the role of foreigners in eikaiwa (English conversation classes).
Outside of school, I like to take part in winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing (I mean, what else can you do in Hokkaido? We have snow half the time in an entire year!). It might look scary and daunting, but trust me and try it once! In summer, I like to go mountain hiking around Hokkaido – it's just the most amazing feeling in the world when you make it up the mountain to take a commemorative photo. To be able to do things that I could never do in Singapore makes me feel that I made the right choice studying abroad!
I always say this to people and it might sound corny, but I feel like Japan chose me, rather than me choosing Japan. Long story short, I was taking Japanese Classes as a language elective in Ngee Ann Polytechnic and in my second year of polytechnic, one of the staff from HU came to give a talk about my programme. I applied the following year, got in and the rest is history! I was interested in Japan since I was a child, as my dad used to work in Japan and would tell me stories about Japan – so I always wanted to see it for myself. I felt like I was being too protected being in Singapore, and I just wanted to step out of my comfort zone to do something new and something crazy. So, in September 2016, I bought a one way ticket to Japan and never looked back. I thought to myself – I'm not sure if I'll regret coming to Japan, but I know that I'll regret if I don't try. So for everyone that is on the fence about coming to Japan to study abroad, I would say just do it! You only live once, right? I've been in Hokkaido for almost 6 years and I still haven't got tired of it. I think that means something, right?