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Q&A with International Student Jeremiy Shou

Image credit: Jeremiy Shou

Meet Jeremiy Shou, an international student from Japan studying at the Australian National University. After completing his first three years’ study at Yokohama National University, Jeremiy travelled 7,921km to Canberra to broaden his academic and cultural horizons.

Many local students in Canberra are unaware of the cultural and social differences international students face. Kimberly Kang had a chat with Jeremiy to discuss his overseas experience, studying with local students and different education system between Australia and Japan.

Whats your first impression to Canberra?

The moment I came to Canberra, I felt that it is a really quiet city. When I arrived at my house in Belconnen, a group of kangaroos were grazing on grass in front of the house. I’m very excited to see kangaroos on the first day and I realize that the peaceful  life here must be very suitable for study and enjoying life here.

What did you want to gain from your studies in Australia?

Firstly, I would like to learn more about research methods. Doing research is an important process in academic study and I really want to improve my academic skills. Then, studying in an English-Speaking country and learning the language. I think not only for me, but for all international students who come from non-English-Speaking countries, we all aim to practice English in the English environment.

Is there any differences between Australia and Japanese universities? 

Sure thing! Australian universities are different from Japanese universities. In my opinion,  Japanese universities pay more attention to students’ practical skills and ability. My major is Business Administration in Japan and I often do practical works. I think Australian universities are more academic and I do more on theoretical research and writing essay with strict reference format. As I said before, I’d like to devote to improving my research skills here. That is the strength that Australian universities have over Japanese universities.

In your opinion, when you study with local students, what do they do that have positive and negative effects on international students?

There are many more positive effects than negative effects. I think most local students are friendly to international students, like sometimes I have some language barriers in group discussion, local students are patient with me and slow down their speaking speed. That makes me calm down and become more confident when listening and speaking English. Also, during a group discussion with local students, because we’ve grow up under different cultures, I can see the different ways they think about the same problem compared to my initial thoughts.

What are your most memorable experiences since you came here?

The most memorable experiences here for me was my road trip to Brisbane. The mid-semester holiday is really good because during that two weeks I had time to learn more about Australia and it was a chance to relax. I drove to Brisbane and passed through some small towns and cities which were really interesting experiences.

What does the experience of studying abroad mean to you?

Study in Australia is a precious experience in my life. It taught me independence and has also broadened my horizons. I have learned Australian and other similar western countries’ learning style that I can’t experience in Japan. It enriches me in personal abilities. In the future, I hope to share my experience here in Australia with everyone from back home in Japan.

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