Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Over onsFaculteit der LetterenOnderwijs Faculteit der LetterenMaster

Euroculture alumna Mari Tsugawa in Tokyo

"I chose to work in Tokyo after completing my master in Euroculture at the University of Groningen. My long time dream of becoming a university researcher was surpassed by the urge to lead a more financially and geographically stable life. Although I still struggle with reverse culture shock and curse how crowded and loud the city is on a daily basis, I cannot deny the luxury Tokyo brings to me. The transportation network carries me anywhere safely and on time. I can shop anything from groceries to books to furniture online and receive my order the next day. World class art exhibits, shows, and concerts are easily accessible (given that I can afford the tickets). Moreover, the vast diversity of people in Tokyo has led me to meet some very interesting people whom I would otherwise never meet.

In the midst of the busy city life, I sometimes miss the last two years of my academic life, three semesters of which I spent in Groningen. Having had experienced different education systems and institutions around the world, I found Rug to be most accommodating to each student’s learning needs, including those of international students. When I think of my time at the University of Groningen, some memories are particularly illuminated: heated class discussions where professors were always pushing us to think deeper; having to give semi-ready presentations in front of friendly but critical fellow students; trying to finish up a major paper the night before the deadline in the library (or writing an email negotiating an extension), etc. Despite the demanding courses, I somehow managed to complete the programme with cum laude.

This would not have been possible if it were not for the individual attention from the teaching and administrative staff at the UG. All the faculty and staff members were extremely approachable and supportive. I enjoyed the privilege of getting to know them on a personal level. I would often visit my lecturers’ office to pick their brains, programme coordinator’s office to sort out logistic and personal issues, and secretary’s office to hang out and gossip. A particularly touching memory was when I decided to take a course outside of my programme. This course was originally to be offered in Dutch. However, the professor switched the course language to English and other students spoke English in class only for me.

Outside the programme, I spent a lot of time with some of my fellow students. Due to the nature of my programme, I had the incredible opportunity to study with and get to know a truly unique and diverse group of students. In addition, I had already known a few local UG students before coming to Groningen; I had met them as exchange students at Osaka University, another alma mater of mine. They would help me navigate my international student life through the unfamiliar system and culture of a Dutch university and the Netherlands in general. Before starting my programme, Europe was some place only existed in my imagination. Now European countries hold personal significance to me because they are home to some of my closest friends."

Last modified:29 January 2018 09.35 a.m.