Student Voice: [GLA] ‘New Life in GLA’

Raku from Japan

- College of Global Liberal Arts (GLA), 2nd year

- Scholarships Received: Saionji Memorial Scholarship

Why did you select RU and the College of Global Liberal Arts (GLA)?

The reason I chose RU is because I want to study in a place that I am not familiar with to get out of my comfort zone. There are several reasons why I chose the College of Global Liberal Arts (GLA).

First, GLA offers an all English program, which is a great opportunity for me to improve my English skills. Secondly, I was interested in a curriculum where 70% of the students are non-Japanese since I can experience an atmosphere similar to a foreign university.

Furthermore, GLA offers liberal arts studies, where we can choose from a wide selection of courses.

Lastly, the dual degree program with ANU is the reason why I chose this university, as I have the chance to learn in two universities and also study abroad.

What made you think about looking for a university in Japan?

I chose a Japanese university as I am interested in Japanese culture and am fascinated to discover the significance of this country from the perspective of international students by hearing their various voices and opinions.

  Entrance ceremony staff for September enrollment students in Ritsumeikan University 

How are you leveraging your high school studies in GLA?

In high school, I studied in an IB program. I feel that the skills that I acquired during my IB studies, such as critical thinking, essay writing, self-reflection, and collaborative skills are all important in university learning. Though, all these skills have room for improvement. Thus, I make sure to always keep this in mind to further develop and improve myself.

About your studies...

Could you tell us what influenced you to choose this major?  

Since I did not know what I want to become in the future, GLA was the best choice as liberal arts provides a variety of fields that will widen my perspectives and broaden my future career possibilities. Through the studies in RU as well as in ANU, I hope I can find the interests that will help determine my future career.

Find out more about this dual degree program

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

The first year was basically introductory courses and most of the classes were auto-registered/mandatory, but I still enjoyed taking them.

I believe the mandatory courses that I took during the first year are all important and that they are the fundamental elements of liberal arts study. First year courses have great focus on training how to view things different ways to obtain new perspectives. Also, I encountered difficulty as we had to challenge the stereotypes and prejudices that we took for granted, which means I sometimes have to be skeptical of myself, too.

Here are the classes I have taken:

First semester:

Introduction to Global Liberal Arts (I), Research Design and Research Methods, Algorithm and Programming, Knowledge and Innovation.

Second semester:

Introduction to Global Liberal Arts (II), Statistics, Cultural Studies, Civilization in Global History

Third semester:

The RU classes; Introduction to Global History, Introduction to International Relations, Asia and the World in Historical Perspective, Internship 1

The ANU classes; Introduction to International Security Studies, Pacific Encounters: An introduction to Pacific Studies 

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

What were the most interesting courses in your first year?

The two most interesting courses were Cultural Studies and Civilization in Global History.

For Cultural Studies, it was exciting to learn how our culture is formed by various factors, as well as histories. Also, I enjoyed connecting the concepts that I learned in the class to my real life situations, which allowed me to reconsider the impact of the surrounding environment on me.

Regarding Civilization in Global History, it was new for me to learn history from non-western perspective. This class allowed me to realize the issue of a western-centric history. Also, I was able to understand the historical significance of the non-west, such as Asia, which is where we live. 

Tell us about the GLA studying environment.

I think GLA offers a very unique study style, as we not only have lectures but also tutorials where students have the opportunity to train their output process by expressing ideas/opinions and having dense discussions. Also, since the number of students in the tutorial class is around 20 students, I was able to get a satisfying amount of feedback that helped me to improve my assignments.

Can you describe your class choices for the next semester?

I am very interested in history, so I am planning to take courses that focus on history, especially examining the importance of the Asia region. 

Find out more at the Program Overview

Help selling international foods in the GLA booth at the Ibaritsu festival 

About your life...

How is your life at RU in Japan? Do you do any part-time jobs within or outside RU?

The dorm for GLA students is located inside the campus. I am working as a RM (Resident Mentor) in the dorm so that the dormitory students can live comfortably. Also, our job is to guide new students and bring them to the city hall and bank to complete necessary procedures. For extracurricular activity, I do an internship to start thinking about my future career.
Through the experience of an internship, I was able to improve my management skills and acquire new skills that will be useful in the future.

Halloween party in the dorm

Tell us about your dorm life. 

I am currently living in G-House (a dormitory mainly for GLA students). I really love the dormitory life, as every day is an international exchange. Sometimes, we make food together and share dishes with friends. Also, we play games and watch movies together during the weekend, having an amazing time.

Sneak peek at GLA student life

Making sushi rolls and sharing with friendsMaking sushi rolls and sharing with friends


Chơi games cùng các bạn ở ký túc xá Playing games with friends in the dorm

Have you used any student services at Ritsumeikan?

I have used the medical center as I was helping a friend who was not feeling well. The staff there were really nice and some did speak English.


Ritsumeikan Medical Service Center, OIC


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

At this point, I don’t really know what I am interested in and what job I want to do in the future. However, I want to find a job that will connect and strengthen the relationships between Japan and other countries. Also, I love learning languages, so I hope to use my language skills at my job.

Find out more about GLA Career Support 

Message for readers:

To all prospective students,
I am very excited to make new friends in GLA! Although study in university is quite different from high school and some might encounter difficulties, the learning in GLA will definitely be exciting and beneficial for your future. If there are any concerns or questions, you can ask GLA senpai(s) for help!

"If you like this post, please click “Like” on our Facebook Page. We will inform you about our events and seminars. "


📬 Ritsumeikan University ASEAN

📩 https://www.facebook.com/ritsumeikanasean/

📞 WhatsApp: +84966786921 (10:00 – 17:30, Monday to Friday/ English only)

📧 asean@st.ritsumei.ac.jp