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Chen Pen Yuan, International Student from Taiwan

At Keio Entrance Ceremony
At Keio Entrance Ceremony
With GIGA classmates
With GIGA classmates
Teppan Party with Keio friends
Teppan Party with Keio friends
At Skytree with his grandfather
At Skytree with his grandfather

-What is your major?
I am now a freshman in the GIGA Program. It belongs to Faculty of Environment and Information Studies.

-Why did you decide to study in Japan or at Keio?
The main reason is I want to become a bio-medical engineer in the future; Japan is famous for its preciseness in engineering and technology of medicine. What is more, Keio’s medical school is especially prestigious in the world, so I planned to study at Keio, Japan. Actually, I did not plan to study abroad in such a young age, and I can’t speak Japanese at all. The main factor that affected my decision is that my mother, who was also a Keio student twenty years ago, is now a member of the Taiwan Mitakai (Alumni Association). This is why my mom was able to learn about the GIGA program when the staff came to Taiwan to promote the program. She translated for professors at the program. She told me about GIGA and that all the courses are taught in English. But what really attracted me is the school spirit of SFC and that SFC provides students with great freedom. The only condition is that students here have to clearly know what they really want to do in the future so that they can arrange everything by themselves. That is what I will never be able to experience in Taiwan. So, I started working hard for applying the GIGA program, and luckily, I am here now.

-Please tell us about some of the aspects of your life in Japan or at Keio.
First of all, many people love Japan because of its anime, and I am not an exception. I love One Piece and Naruto a lot. Second of all, I am a super seafood lover, and I especially like uni, scallops, maguro and ikura. These are so cheap in Japan compared to any other country. But what I respect and admire most is that Japanese are so “picky”. I mean, they ask for accuracy in every detail and most of them are perfectionists. Keio is one of the best private universities with the longest history in Japan. I have heard of many celebrities who are Keio’s graduates since I was just a child, which provided me with a fabulous first impression. And Keio’s professors are all elites in their fields; besides, I have heard that they know many influential people in the world and we will have chance to talk with them or even have dinner with them. I am really looking forward to that.

-What is your favorite class?
In the past three weeks, what attracted me the most is “Elements in Mathematics for Information Science” taught by Professor Hagino. It is not a normal mathematics class. Apparently, from the class name, I thought we would learn math used in computer science. But actually, in the first class, we had to rebuild all our math concepts. We started from nothing. We started with defining what “plus”, “subtract”, “multiply” and “divide” mean. We have to pretend that we ourselves are computers. If we think with the logic, that we are used to, we will never be able to understand what we are learning.

-What is your most favorite menu served at the SFC cafeteria?
I would like to say a “category” rather than a certain food. I really like ramen in SFC cafeteria, since it is about 200 yen cheaper than a normal restaurant and we can still feel full without any other food. They also change the menu regularly. When my friends visit me here in the future, I will probably bring them to our cafeteria to have a wonderful meal with the beautiful view of Gulliver Pond.

-What is your plan after you graduate?
Basically I will have two choices, work and study. I am now studying Japanese, so I believe language will not be a problem when looking for a job in four years. If I can find a proper job with a good offer in Japan, I hope to work for a while to see what I really need during work. As everyone knows, not everything we learn will be applied to work. With working experience, I may more clearly know what I should learn, and I think it is the better choice. Another road is graduate school, as what other normal students usually choose in Taiwan. However, without working experience, I may mindlessly learn. Thus, I still prefer to work first. There are still many uncertainties, but I believe I will find the answer in the following four years.

-Do you have any advice for students who are considering studying at SFC?
SFC is really a place for elites around the world to gather, so students who want to study here will find that everyone is both academically smart and life smart. Thus, knowing one’s goal is really important. Students have numerous resources in SFC, so if we can use these resources properly and work harder, a promising career will be there waiting for us. What is more, in SFC, self-discipline and time management are two essential things students have to own. Circles, parties, etc. are just too often here and all of them are pretty fascinating. Therefore, being able to manage time properly is something SFC students have to work on.

About the writer
Chen Pen Yuan
First-year Student of SFC GIGA Program,
Faculty of Environment and Information Studies

* SFC GIGA Program student (September 2012- / He is in Keio University as of March 2013)
* The facts are those at the time of the interview.