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Michael from Kiribati メール
作者 マイケル   
2012/01/17 Tuesday 15:06:21 JST

Greetings everyone and welcome to A-ken student blog page!!!

My name is Michael Reiher, a first year Master Student at A-ken 2011. I come from a group of tiny Islands called Kiribati, located smack bang on the equator in the Central Pacific. Right now I am going to talk about and share my experiences so far here at A-ken but before that, I feel the need to elaborate more on where I come from so to settle down those confused eyebrows you`re having about where I am from. That’s right, and don’t pretend you’re not. Now, if you are a first timer to hear the word Kiribati, don’t panic and torture yourself. Apparently about 95% of foreign people I`ve met also don’t have a clue, so I am quite accustomed to the fact that nobody has ever heard about Kiribati before, which I like to think of as something making me somewhat popular, and again I said “I think”, hehehe! People would say, “mmm that guy from that country I just can’t remember the name - Ldurr!” So, to clear things once and for all, allow me to give you the grand tour. Here we go,


 “Kiribati consists of 33 small islands, totaling a land area of only around 811 km2, scattered over a vast amount of ocean of approximately 3.5 million square kilometers. How about that? Nobody knows us but we are bigger than Japan, well except more than 90% is water, hehe. It has a population of around 103,000, and uhhhh what else? No wait, lets do it this way - Check Wikipedia and you will get all the answer you need. I have limited space on this page so better keep it short- sorry guys!!!”


Tiny bit more about myself - I was originally at Chuo University as a research student. At Chuo University, if I enter the Masters program I had to do everything in Japanese which would have made my life miserable. No disrespect, Chuo University is a great university, but for me to do my study in Japanese is quite impossible with the level of Japanese I know. But luckily, despite my usual unlucky fortune, here at Waseda University, a new International program for engineering was just introduced this year 2011, and I was fortunate enough to get in. This is all thanks to Professor Akagi for taking me onboard and making my transfer possible, something which I will forever be grateful for. Also, my many thanks to all Chuo University staff for their assistance and especially to my former Professor Oshita for his understanding and support during my transfer!


Now finally, I am going to talk about my time here at A-ken as promised. I started my Masters Course since April 2011, and am currently on my second semester. So far, A-ken has been great, I mean super great. The atmosphere at A-ken couldn’t be any better. Professor Akagi is a very professional and dedicated advisor, and is very approachable and easy to talk with - both inside and outside the classroom. One thing I am quite new to, which I find different to my years spent as an undergraduate student at Canterbury University in New Zealand, is the social party gathering A-ken organizes. During these times, every lab member will have the opportunity to mingle with each other plus sensei and also with some returning A-ken Alumnnies. This really creates a way of getting to know each other, personally and professionally some might say, and also a time to receive good advice and tips on aspects such as job hunting and forth and creating networks with these returning Alumnies. And if you were wondering and asking yourself, “What is party without a little bit of `alcohol` to spice up the night right?” Trust me, you won`t be disappointed! (check photos for proof!!)





Ariura-san, Professor Akagi`s Secretary, is super cool and is very helpful with other school matters regarding important paperwork and so forth. She is always socially involved with laboratory functions if she has time, and is full of joy and a jolly to have around students.


And to wrap it up, every student member at A-ken, which includes 8 fourth year bachelor students, 8 Master Students, whom are all Japanese, 1 international Phd student from Iran, and off course the always charming Laboratory Technician Hyodo-san, are just bundles of joy to be around. Most of them were somewhat seemingly shy at first, but after a week or two, I found that they are such easy going people and fun to hang around with. They have been very helpful in so many ways and to make things easy, they are more than capable of speaking English. Believe me or not, but during our seminar sessions, everyone is required to present in English, and as a matter of a fact, everyone does is with style – mina-san, otsukaresamadeshita!!!


Its only been almost a year, and I have so much already to talk about so I will stop here for now, but I do promise to come back with updates as the days, weeks and months progress. I just hope I will be able to stick around more to enjoy the A-ken atmosphere and share many more great experiences to come.

Okay guys, it is only a few days away from Xmas so to wrap things up for now, I would like to wish you all a Merry Merry Christmas and a Blessed Happy New 2012 Year! Thank you for checking out this page.


Cheers everyone,




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