Message from Ms. Aarushi Gupta





          Please give a short introduction of yourself.

I am Aarushi Gupta! I’m from New Delhi, and I
recently turned 20 years old in December. I’m currently
a second year undergraduate student at Ritsumeikan
University, Japan. I am studying International Relations,
and my field of interest lies in Politics, international
organisations (like the UN) and gender issues. I also love
reading and writing stories, performing slam poetry,

What is your favorite thing about Kyoto?

I love the fact that Kyoto is a beautiful synthesis of modern
and traditional. I feel like it is such an experience to just
walk the streets of Kyoto, and feel the history around you. It is a city that has so much natural beauty as well, and the people are all very warm and friendly. Despite its traditional and cultural value, it has continued to be a place that has offered modern amenities and assistance to foreign students, such as myself, making living here a lot of fun and a growing process!

          In what way has your impression of Kyoto or Japan changed since coming here?

I used to have a very generalised image of Japan. I used to view Japanese culture as being homogenous, with no diversity whatsoever. I also had the strange preconception that Tokyo represented all of Japan, but that has greatly changed, now that I am living in a city in Japan which is not Tokyo, for more than a year now. Japanese culture, language and traditions are very diverse and unique depending on the region, and have their own separate charm. As I have travelled around Kansai a bit (and to Okinawa) I have been able to truly appreciate these differences in way of life across Japan. I feel like this uniqueness of culture is what has made Japan into a more global society.

What attracted you to choose Ritsumeikan University as a place to study?

I was attracted by the facilities provided by Ritsumeikan University. I was deeply impressed with the reason and the spirit of the university- to go beyond borders and cultivate one’s mind. As someone who wants to work in the UN in the future, I felt that it was imperative that I should study in the conducive environment provided by Ritsumeikan, with a faculty and student body that is very diverse, in terms of nationalities, gender, ethnicity, religion etc. To this day, interactions with my peers who are from different countries has taught me more about the world, and about people than I could ever learn on my own.


In what way did you adjust yourself to Japanese culture?

Japanese culture places heavy emphasis on politeness and consideration. In my home country, talking on the phone in public transportation is not considered rude at all, even though it is a nuisance. I had to adjust my habit of calling my friends when I am on the train or bus (due to boredom) and settle for other ways to entertain myself. I also try not to talk loudly in the bus as it could disturb other passengers.

Please give a message to students or researchers in your home country who may be thinking about studying in Japan?

In my honest opinion, the aim of education is to help us achieve personal growth and positive change, so we can work towards bringing about a wave of positive changes throughout the world. Japan, for me, has made me learn more about myself, my strengths and weaknesses, and has enabled me to learn how to become more independent, and not be afraid of making mistakes. I can see myself growing academically and as a human being. So far, studying in Japan has been the best decision I ever made. I hope that you all will consider coming to Japan and embark on your own adventures!! :)