Christian Chukwuma Uduije
Home country: Nigeria
Graduate School of Economics (Master's program)
Christian Uduije appreciates the diversity of his classes and fellow students and the variety of extracurricular activities and events, all the time expanding both his knowledge and his outlook throughout his time at Keio. He aims to use these new strengths both in his future career as a financial analyst and reaching out to prospective Keio students in his home country.
How did you find out about your current program and what made you decide to pursue it?
I discovered the master's program during my period as a research student. A friend had struck up a discussion about studying in Japan and a little research showed Keio stood out in the discipline of economics, so I applied for its international research program and the rest is history. Furthermore, there was a good sync between theory and practice and the faculty wasn't only impressive but also inspirational, so I decided to enroll. It was challenging and offered me an opportunity to work with diverse students within a very global, education-friendly environment.
Please tell us a little bit about your experience of the application process.
It was a little rigorous, but I figured it would be worth it because good things don't always come so easily. The staff were very helpful and most documents were already translated, so the issue of language fluency wasn't a barrier.
Please tell us about a typical day in your life while studying at Keio.
A typical weekday begins with an early rise (especially if I have a lecture first period). I start off with my personal devotions and a quick breakfast and rush down to school for first lectures by 9 a.m. It's quite convenient from the dorms, just one train station away. At lunch time, I socialize with friends at the spacious cafeteria and we go over the day's classes and practice our Japanese/English. At the day's end, we have a brief group study and deliberate over our research and assignments. This concludes with a group dinner which lasts longer on more stressful days. When I return home, I go over my remaining duties, take a jog, make plans for the next day, and have a much deserved rest. My weekends are very valuable. I spend it having a good rest, playing sports, or hanging out with friends from other institutions. When I'm not doing any of the above I take a short trip to explore the hidden wonders of Japan.
What do you enjoy about life at Keio?
Life at Keio is really amazing. It would be really difficult to elaborate my feelings in such a limited space. Nevertheless, my studies here have been unique, from very pragmatic courses on financial markets to elaborate history sessions and strict, nerve-racking language classes which pay off as discounts at the market. I have been privileged to attend more conferences here than I had in my entire life. It's not just about the books; the club events by the Plurilingual Lounge Organization (PLURIO), the Tokyo Mita Club, Keio Evangelical Christian Fellowship (KECF) and a host of others have been fun and insightful. The school parties are no less buoyant, with arrays of continental dishes with faculty and students of the most impressive echelon. If there are any more things I will miss it's the dorms, cozy classrooms, and the toilets...everyone loves the toilets.
What has been your most memorable experience so far during your time in Japan?
This is the hardest question to answer but I will say it was climbing Mt. Fuji; it was absolutely breath-taking.
Please tell us about a challenge that you have faced since coming to Keio and how you overcame it.
I guess the fear of every prospective student reading this is language, language, language. Keio helped me overcome it. The language classes are great for daily survival (if you know what I mean) and I fought hard with the aid of friends.
Think back on yourself before coming to Japan. How have you changed as a result of coming to Keio and to Japan, and how have your views of Japan changed?
Honestly, my views of Japan have changed immensely. The best example of my previous views is the viral memes on the internet. Now, I see Japan as a country made up of nice people living everyday life in their unique way.
What are your plans after you finish your studies at Keio? What do you think you will take with you from this experience?
After my studies at Keio, I intend to utilize my knowledge as a financial analyst bolstered with a broader world view of cultures, people, and challenges.
How would you recommend Keio to students in your home country?
I would be glad to see a Mita Club set up in Nigeria which will not only gather past alumni but assist with the organization of fairs at centers of learning.
Please give a brief piece of advice for prospective international students at Keio.
If you've been patient enough to read through my sweet experience to this point, all I would say is opportunity is but once in a lifetime. Just do it.
(This interview is from December 2012.)