It definitely gave me a chance to know a little bit more about Japan and the University of Tsukuba, which I visited in February 2015 during the Sakura Undergraduate Science Course. During that time I figured out more about the research in the university and campus life here in Tsukuba, and gave me sort of an assurement to join the University of Tsukuba for the Master's course. Through the Sakura Undergraduate Science Course, I got a brief, yet, unforgettable experience about Japan, Tsukuba, the environment, the educational system of the University of Tsukuba, especially in the research field. I got to visit Tokyo as well. At the time I was sure that Japan is where I should go for my next study. Now, as I live and study here in Tsukuba, I realized that the Sakura Undergraduate Science Course actually really showed me much more about Japan, Tsukuba and the university, compared to any pamphlet or advertisement. The everyday experience I might encounter here in the university was briefly concised during the course. Though still lots of things are there to be found. And the course also gave me a chance to make new friends here in Tsukuba, therefore, I am truly thankful. I get to meet my friends I met during the course again now that I live here. And, still in touch with other foreign students who participated in the course. So, I think it was such a influencial trigger for my study in Japan.
I am currently studying about mesenchymal stem cells isolated from the human adipose tissue in Master's course at the Department of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology at the University of Tsukuba. The research is done in a fast pace, so I think I've been learning quite a lot in the last 4 months. Plus, my laboratory members are amazingly nice and helpful, and my principal investigator always gives a lot of feedback for the research. Other than laboratory, I attended some classes as well. The classes are very interesting, every class feels like a conference somehow. Every professor would give an overview about their researches, there fore we are always exposed to new findings and different approaches used by researchers toward a certain issue in the research field. It really gave me lots of information I could use in my research. I am also a MEXT scholarship student, it is a scholarship provided by the Japanese goverment. It covers so many things, that I do not have to worry about my financial here, so that I can focus on my study. And since I came here last September I've been meeting some of my friends who I met during the Sakura Science Course, and many new friends. Since there are a lot of foreign students here in Tsukuba, now I have many foreign friends. A lot of time we hang around and spend holidays together. And some, become my closest friends.
I think joining the Sakura Undergraduate Science Course is a good chance to have a real life experience when you are considering to enter a University in Japan. It is a good chance to get to know the educational system of the university and the research field that you are interested in, or even just to get to know Japan in person. FYI, the course felt like a holiday, especially when we visited Tokyo! Plus, you get to make many new friends and know more amazing professors through the course.