南山大学

 

Student Voice

KRINGS Sabine (Germany)

Graduate School of Humanities Graduate Program in Linguistic Science

My first contact with Nanzan University was through a program for shared internet based learning of the department for German studies at Nanzan University and the department of Modern Japanese studies at my home university in Germany, the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. In this program we held video conferences, in which presentations and discussions were carried out partly in Japanese and partly in German. This was indeed quite challenging, but it was a great chance to acquire profound speaking and listening skills while still at the home university.

After finishing my bachelor studies in Germany, I wanted to enter a Master program in Japanese Language Education in Japan. Of course Nanzan University came to my mind immediately, as I wanted to meet the students from the German department, whom I had talked to in the video conferences.

But this was not the only reason, why I chose for Nanzan University. The main reason was the high reputation of its Japanese Language Program, as I thought it would be great to study about Japanese Language Education at a university where it is actually very vivid.

Another reason which made me choose for Nanzan University is the international student friendly policy on tuition fees. In my home country Germany we have no (or in some states very low) tuition fees, and so the high fees at Japanese universities posed a high obstacle for me. But at Nanzan University half of the tuition fees are waived for most of the international students. As I came to know this, it was like the cherry on the cake, which made me opt for this university.

Coming to Nanzan University I was able to learn a lot about Japanese Language Education, Japanese Linguistics and mechanisms in second language acquisition. Also, under the guidance of my advisor, I was able to carry out my first own research project. I did research on effective kanji study methods for learners of Japanese from a non-kanji background.

Next to my study and research, I was given the chance to acquire practical language teaching skills as a teaching assistant at both the Japanese Language Program and the German department at Nanzan University. The most fun teaching assistantship was at the Japan Plaza. This is a unique place for encounter for Japanese and international students, where only Japanese may be used. It is not only a great place to practice Japanese speaking and listening skills for the international students on the campus, but also a place where you can make friends with Japanese students and of cause also with other international students. Whatever your level of Japanese do not hesitate to step in, as there is always a teaching assistant at hand to help you in case any questions or problems do arise.

Another possibility to enrich your experience at Nanzan University is participation in one of the many clubs and circles. I was for example member of the penji club, where Japanese handwriting is practiced. Together with the other club members I also participated in the gakusai, the university festival which is held once a year. At this festival the clubs and circles present their works and have fun together. Some clubs make dance performances, others, like the ikebana club, make exhibitions, and still others sell delicious self made foods. As there is nothing comparable to a gakusai at German universities, taking part in this huge party was really fun and interesting for me.

I am happy that I came to Nanzan University, as it was not only a great place to study and to do research, but also a place where I could make friends with people from all over the world.