Message from Ms. Upasana Panigrahi

Please give a short introduction of yourself.

I am Upasana Panigrahi. I hail from Cuttack, a small town in Odisha, India. I am a mechanical engineer. Now, I am pursuing Ph.D in Advanced Mechanical Systems in Kumamoto University, Japan.
My study is supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) , Japan.



What is your favorite thing about Kumamoto?

I am spellbound by the scenic beauty of quiet city, Kumamoto. The Proud Kumamoto Castle is considered one of the most important of its kind. I awed as I explore its stone curves, array of turrets, and displays of armor, weapons, and maps. Suizenji Jojuen Garden is downright cinematic, a playground of slopes and dips and trees, in a million shades of green. Cherry blossom season is a lovely time to visit.


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

To my subjective senses, the air and light in Japan are different. There is an energy and rhythm unlike any I have experienced elsewhere, from the boisterous "irasshaimase" which greets patrons in most dining establishments, to the serene quiet of a secluded garden. The people are courteous and helpful. Japan is extremely clean and safe, with one of the lowest crime rates in the world.


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

Known for making things smaller, faster, and above all first, Japan is the leading country in technology, research and development. Japanese researchers are viewed as committed and careful in their work and their research is regarded as solid and of high quality. The output of research performance is the best, connectivity that is international networks and collaborations is the excellent and the environment along with government policy and regulation, diversity and participation opportunities is the best. I am very much interested in studying and pursuing research in Japan to develop my creativity in searching out and learning to cope with modern technology and play as an important supportive role in the continuing innovation to venture into unfamiliar sphere of science. Kumamoto University provides me with unparalleled opportunities to live, work and explore the knowledge, culture and new perspectives.


In what way did you adjust yourself to Japanese culture?

While Japan's cultural treasure is vital to the Japanese national identity, and therefore, in many instances, very carefully preserved, Japan often leads the world in the evolving process called progress, especially with regard to technology. Life becomes easy with so many automated user friendly technology. People are always ready to guide you. Japanese culture embraces you with soothing hospitability, genuine understanding and tender care. Living in Japan has developed me as person with better sense of responsibilities. Since I can appreciate the difference in cultures and address the deep similarities among people, I acclimatize with the new world with basic learning of humanity and love and individuality.


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

Studying abroad is interesting part of resume. International learned employees are in demand, as employers value your skills and personal growth which are enhanced with international awareness and new perspectives. Moreover, in a recent survey, around half of the major Japanese companies surveyed expressed a desire to hire foreigners graduating from Japanese institutions. Tuition fees are comparatively cheap in Japan. Partial and full tuition fees waivers are even possible for high achieving students from poorer backgrounds. A wide range of scholarships are available, both from the university, and from public and private organization; with some directed towards specific nationalities, women, minorities, or those with high level Japanese proficiency. Japan is blessed with natural beauty which varies by season. The food, while it may seem very different to an Indian palate, is nutritious, widely varied, and presented in an aesthetically pleasing manner. The public transit system is highly efficient, clean, and punctual. International and domestic connectivity are excellent.