Student Voice: [GLA] Don't be afraid to ask, and you will find that your university life is brilliant!

Effie from Indonesia

College of Global Liberal Arts (GLA), 3rd year

Scholarships received: Ritsumeikan University Tuition Reduction, Ritsumeikan University Saionji Memorial Scholarship, Ando Momofuku Scholarship for International Students

Why did you select RU and the GLA program?

I had a gap year after I graduated high school to prepare for my further studies, so I put a lot of thought and research into my decision. I chose Ritsumeikan University because I was very impressed by how international it is. Not only does it have many courses taught in English, RU also promotes a multicultural environment that really helps non-Japanese speakers. For instance, many resources are available in English, including the manuals on the application process. Since I didn't have any agent to help me with applying for universities, this aspect influenced my decision greatly.

As for my current course, Global Liberal Arts, I decided to take this major because I've always been more interested in areas that require critical thinking, intercultural fluency, and social reasoning. What better way to learn the way of the world than through the lens of humanities? Therefore, it was a no-brainer for me to choose GLA as my major after I browsed through the curriculum on the RU website. I was pleased with how the entire course is structured, with Cosmopolitan, Civilization, and Innovation Studies. As a science stream high school graduate, I was particularly drawn towards the Innovation Studies cluster, as it has a comparatively compact and comprehensive application of the natural sciences in the social sciences. More than that, GLA students have the opportunity to take on a dual degree program with the Australian National University, the best university in Australia, for the Asia-Pacific Affairs major. Overall, the curriculum and information offered on GLA immensely attracted me.

About your studies…

Give us an overview of your studies and course schedule from the 1st year to now 

Global Liberal Arts is made up of three main groups of studies: Cosmopolitan, Civilization, and Innovation. For the first two semesters, we were obligated to take the essential courses, including Introduction to GLA, Science Basics, Statistics, Cultural Studies, Civilization in Global History, Research Design, and Research Methods. I also chose the lottery-based course Algorithms and Programming, which taught me algorithmic thought-process, which is crucial in building a critical mind. Another course I am thankful to have taken is the Japanese Language course, which is generally assigned to all international students according to their level of Japanese fluency, which is definitely useful for students like me to be able to practice our grammar and converse in Japanese.

Right now, (when this article was written in 2022), I'm in my second year (third semester), which means that I have started taking the ANU introductory courses for my Bachelor of Asia-Pacific Affairs.  We're not allowed to choose the ANU courses ourselves, because these introductory courses are mandatory, but both Introduction to International Security Studies and Pacific Encounters are really intriguing. It was hard for me to adapt at first, because the ANU courses are significantly harder due to how specified they are, but being allowed to choose my RU courses gave me much motivation. I chose two courses: Sociological Theories: Classics and Contemporary and Social Impacts of Brain Science. These two courses are definitely very different from each other, as can be understood even from their names, but I really enjoy my current classes. 

Find out more about courses at the College of Global Liberal Arts

Message in English:

Don't be afraid to ask. Ask a senpai, senior, for tips, ask a kouhai, junior, to lunch, ask a professor for new knowledge, ask the many GLA faculty personnel and offices for more resources, ask your circle friends for a weekend trip to USJ. Just ask, and you will find that your university life is brilliant!

Read the full interview here:

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