Student Voice: [GS] ‘Enjoy, study and challenge – not only a “new start” at Ritsumeikan’

Grace from the USA

College of International Relations, Global Studies Major (GS), 3rd Year

Graduated High School: South Lakes High School

Why did you choose Global Studies at RU?

I actually chose Ritsumeikan University and the Global Studies Major after nearly two years of research into Japanese universities. After speaking to a professor at American University at a college fair, as well as another former associate professor who I met through a friend, I found my curiosity sparked. It only took visiting the campus in person to essentially solidify my decision. I found myself so excited by the prospect of being able to go to university in Japan and be surrounded by other people with such varied cultural backgrounds, who were just as passionate about international relations, and culture, and just learning as I was myself.

How did you find out about RU and this program?

In my junior year of high school, I attended a college fair that was being held at a local mall. I had been prioritizing going to stands that were for schools outside of the country, because I was interested in having what I considered a "fresh start" for university. When I was going between all of these stalls, I came across one for Ritsumeikan.
Having lived in Japan as a child, I had already done a bit of research into Japanese universities with English programs, and Ritsumeikan had come up as a "promising" program. One that while relatively new - having been established in 2011 - had already been quite successful. I distinctly remember standing in front of a clothing store, and being handed a pamphlet for Ritsumeikan. A professor who was at the time working at American University was manning the stand, and he was incredibly engaging. When describing the program to me, the main aspect he seemed to focus on was GSG - that is, Global Simulation Gaming. In layman's terms, GSG is essentially like Model UN, and is a class that you take for a full semester, where you and your groups are working towards preparation for the final event day.
When the professor was describing this class to me, I found myself rather charmed by the idea. I actually took GSG this last semester, and I played the part of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. While overwhelming at times, it was an amazing experience, and I'm so glad that the professor's description of the class was enticing enough to convince me to apply for Ritsumeikan one year later.

What is your career plan and goal / dream after graduating from RU?

I'll confess that I'm not entirely sure what I would like to do in the future. I think we've all experienced that sense of hesitancy and perhaps disorientation, as we wonder at such a young age "What DO I want to do for the rest of my life?".
One thing I am sure of, however, is that I adore learning. I've been looking into schools in Europe, and am very interested in pursuing a graduate degree - either in the field of law, or in that of human culture and identity. My dream would be to be accepted into Leiden in the Netherlands, as it's an absolutely incredible school, and in the prime location to study international relations. If not there, I am also looking at graduate degrees in the United Kingdom. Overall, I am intending to continue pursuing education after graduating from Ritsumeikan University.

Message for readers:

“I know from experience that university can seem a very daunting prospect - even more so the notion of attending in a foreign country. But personally, I saw university as a way to start a new chapter of my life. Think of it as a new character arc; university is a chance for you to have a fresh start, and to explore who you are as a person, and where your interests lie for the future. My biggest piece of advice is to take this is a chance to have as much fun as possible - this is a perfect change for you to do things you've never tried before, make new friends, and learn as much as you possibly can. I hope you enjoy your time at Ritsumeikan just as much as I am enjoying mine.”

Read the full interview here:


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