Freshers' blog

Studying in Japan has been incredible, you should try it!

I’m Linnéa a third-year textiles student currently studying in Joshibi University in Tokyo, Japan.

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In my first year, our class had a brief introduction about preparing for second year. Industry placement is very popular for students but studying abroad was mentioned and this is when I first heard about Japan. I followed this up by talking to the tutor (specialising in textiles) who actually set up the link between Loughborough University and Joshibi University in Japan. And it was from this moment that I realised that this might be what I want to do.

Why I chose to study abroad

There are many reasons for my decision to study abroad and ultimately it came down to the fact that this is an opportunity I will never be able to have again. That is not to say other students don’t study abroad, there are many, however, Japan feels like somewhere wholly unique and I wanted to submerse myself in a culture like no other, where modern meets ancient tradition in beautiful aesthetics.

I also had an interest in Japan through fashion designers Yamamoto and Miyake who I really respect as well as an interest in traditional textiles and the beauty of the Japanese nature.

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The application process

As I was quite early looking for somewhere to study for my third year I had to do most of the research myself as the staff only gave websites to look at. The actual application process was quite long so be prepared for writing personal statements, CVs and sending portfolios. Unfortunately, the process took such a long time there was a period where I was not 100% sure I was going to Japan which was quite late on!

I would recommend talking to people who have studied abroad and if they have gone to the same university then even better. But it is not until you arrive and truly experience living and studying in a different country that you can understand what it is like.

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What it’s like studying abroad

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My experience here has been incredible so far. It has been scary, challenging and hard but the tough parts have been a learning curve, not only about a new culture and course but ultimately about myself. My course here is different to my Loughborough course and it is all taught in Japanese, which certainly adds to the challenge of living somewhere abroad. In terms of employability (although this is not the main reason for my studying abroad) it does show I can adapt and problem solve as there has been aplenty here.

However, facing all these odds, I have learnt to adapt and get myself involved with everything possible. I have had the most amazing time here, learning new skills, interacting with people from Japan and around the world, travelling and immersing myself in a new environment and culture.

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Travelling around Japan is awesome, the seasons here are stunning (they actually have proper seasons!), being able to see the nature, different styles of living and traditional events that are so unique to Japan is extraordinary. I have met so many interesting people here, even if you only meet a person once, they become part of your journey.

Being here also has been so inspiring creatively, there are things that I will always remember and carry with me through my life and my work. This will put me aside from other people as I have a little something different added employability wise. I’m also adding to my skillset by doing a different course. Learning fashion design, pattern making and cutting and constructing a garment has been completely out of my comfort zone as I have never done it before and in another language, but these are great skills to acquire. Also giving presentations at the end of most deadlines has been a key part of the structure of the course. Another good skill to work on is talking about your work concisely and confidently is essential to becoming a designer.

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If you want to experience something new, challenge yourself and learn essential life skills, then I would certainly recommend studying abroad. I have grown as a person, become so much more independent and taken on challenges I never thought I could. Yes, it can be hard, but the journey is so worthwhile.

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A huge thank you to Linnéa for writing this article. If you want any further information on studying abroad please visit the international website.

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