It was my dream before to go to Kyoto to see and experience the traditional Japanese culture at its finest. I thought it was impossible with the little resources that I have. But I realized that there was a way, but it would be a very difficult one: applying for the Monbukagakusho (MEXT) scholarship.
And I successfully got in. It took me courage to send e-mails to Japanese professors as my research background was far from my research interest. But a professor has accepted despite that and he was even kind enough to make the study plan (because we were nearing the submission deadline). I am now currently undertaking my Master’s in Kyoto University with animal virus as my research study. My labmates are all Japanese with me as their first and currently only foreign student in the lab. Still, they were very kind to me and would initiate English conversations even when they’re having difficulty speaking it.
I remember that I used to be ask, “Why did you want to study to Kyoto”? And I would always answer simply, “Because it’s like hitting two birds in one stone”. Aside from experiencing the Japanese traditional culture, I also would like to build up my career as a researcher. And nothing is better than going to one of the best universities in Asia, or even the world, which is Kyoto University.
The first two weeks was a long nerve-wrecking adjustment period. I had to finish a lot of paperwork while attending the orientations and the first day of classes. But now, thankfully, I have settled down. I currently live in a nice cozy apartment near Shimogamo-jinja.
And so my journey to Kyoto begins.
Kamogawa or Kamo River in Kyoto