Alumni Network Former International Students

Erik Christoffer Larsson

I went to Nanzan University in the autumn of 2006. It was the first time I traveled alone but also my first time to Japan.

My image of Japan was that of salarymen and students wearing suits or uniforms for entrance ceremonies and I prepared accordingly. I showed up at Nanzan University's opening ceremony wearing a suit, only to find that I was the only one. What I had forgotten to take into account was that the other people were like me; exchange students. I stood out but it got me noticed and even helped me make a few friends.

I was surprised to find out that we were going to have a placements test the same day; I was even more surprised when I ended up in a higher class than my peers from Sweden. I didn't believe it at first, and had to ask the teachers to check it again. I even tried to decline and asked to be moved to a lower class.

However, my teacher believed in me more than I believed in myself. She sat me down and listened to my concerns. She encouraged me to stay in the class which I did. There were other occasions were my teacher helped me and sat me down to talk to me even without me asking for it.

I had a great time in Nanzan, and I believe a lot of that was because of my teacher's support. My time at Nanzan was my first experience of Japan and it was the best first impression imaginable. My time at Nanzan made me feel like I could do anything and it really helped me to grow as a person as well as improve my Japanese.

My Japanese now is built upon the Japanese I learned at Nanzan. It is a solid base that I don't think I ever will forget.

My time at Nanzan opened up a lot of new experiences for me.

I am currently doing my Master in Computer Science at Keio University and plan to find a job here in Japan. I don't believe I would have been able to have gotten this far if it wasn't for my time at Nanzan University.

It gave me friends for life and unforgettable memories and I am forever grateful.

Thank you,
Christoffer Larsson

On 27 September 2012, I met Christoffer Larsson after a gap of six years. The first thing that struck me was how much his Japanese language ability had improved in comparison to six years ago. He was able to use difficult four-character idiomatic expressions skilfully in conversation and was able to write difficult kanji. He had even progressed to the level at which he didn't forget to throw in some praise for me as a former teacher. He has certainly developed into a very mature and capable person.

In the summer of 2012 he was given the opportunity to do an internship in Aichi Prefecture, and in the morning of the day that he was to return to Tokyo, he dropped in to Nanzan. Unfortunately, it was a Saturday, so no one was there, but even so he said that seeing the campus again brought fond memories to mind. He even said that he would like to come to study once again at Nanzan. No doubt, for him that first experience of studying abroad, his first trip to Japan, and the experience of meeting and studying Japanese with classmates from all over the world will continue to have a special meaning for him.

When I looked at the clock I realized that we had been talking for eight hours! We were both surprised at how the time flew past as we enjoyed talking about shared experiences. It was a most enjoyable reunion, almost as though we had slipped back in time. I hope that Larsson-san has cause to come to Nagoya again and look forward to hearing good news from him.

Akemi Yasui
Center for Japanese Studies











気がつけばなんと連続8時間! 昔話に花が咲きおしゃべりを楽しんだのには、互いにびっくりでした。でも、昔にタイムスリップしたようなとてもとても楽しい時間でした。またぜひ名古屋に遊びに来てくださいね。いいニュースを待っています。