"TMU offers extensive programs for international students. Tutors also help me learn practical everyday Japanese."
Laurence Michael NEVILLE-WILLIAMS
International Culture Course,
Faculty of Urban Liberal Arts
Q1.What is your expertise?
I specialize in mediaology, especially in the sector of films and journalism. My dream is to become a director at the BBC and create science fiction such as Doctor Who.
Q2.Why did you choose TMU to study abroad in Japan?
Due to the competitive nature of the TV industry in England, in order to become a director, I have to work for a few years with no pay and stand out from the crowd. I wanted to gain inspiration from Japan to create a distinctive work that incorporates a different viewpoint.
Since I was a child, I have been exposed to Japanese culture, such as Pokemon and samurai films, and my impressions of Japan were a cool and trendy country that was totally different from England. I came to TMU with an easy mind because when I checked the website of TMU before coming to Japan, I saw a number of programs designed for international students as well as well-developed class schedules.
Q3.Have you experienced any culture shock while in Japan?
The other day, when I took a taxi for the first time, I was surprised that there was no barrier in between the driver’s seat and passengers’ seat. Japan is an extremely safe country and people are kind and trustworthy. Additionally, in England, because it is not normal to see a separate dormitory for boys and girls, I was surprised that the boys and girls live in separate dormitories and cannot exchange visits in Japan.
Q4.How are you currently taking classes at TMU?
While I mainly take classes in Japanese, I take three classes in English, including Japanese society, Japanese politics, and cross-cultural communications. In cross-cultural communications, students share their views actively, and it is an interesting class because I get to hear opinions from diverse people.
Q5.What are your impressions on TMU?
The students are all nice. TMU offers extensive study-abroad programs for international students. TMU is a great school because it offers meticulous support for international students. Another good reason to study here is its convenient location as there are stores and restaurants located adjacent to the dormitories and campuses as well as train stations.
Q6.How do you normally spend your day?
I wake up around 9:30 a.m. and stay in bed until around 10 a.m. and then I go to class after changing clothes. After taking classes in the morning, I go to the cafeteria and have lunch with friends. I always eat something called Power Don, which is a bowl of rice topped with beef and egg. In the afternoon, besides taking classes, I usually go see a teacher, go to the library, or study Japanese with a tutor who provides support for the campus life of international students. It has been quite hard because it is impossible to keep up with classes without studying Japanese at least two hours a day. At night, I do Skype, write emails, and clean up my room.
Q7.What do you do for fun in your school life?
Each day, I learn and experience something new and enjoy new encounters with many people to gain inspiration. Since I buckle down and study during the week, I enjoy going to karaoke and izakaya to party and drink with friends on Friday nights and weekends. I also like to discover all sorts of new things by exploring the city by myself. I am also planning to take a short trip to South Korea and going to Kyoto and Tokyo Disneyland.
Q8.Advice for international students who are looking to study at TMU.
I am currently having a very hard time with the Japanese language because I came to Japan without being able to understand the language at all. So, I recommend studying the Japanese language as much as possible before coming to Japan. I could also say it is important to open up your mind so you can talk with any types of people.