January EPGA Spotlight-Hitomi Yokoyama

What has your experience been like your first semester at AU?

It has been pretty good. At the beginning of the semester, I really felt why I got into grad school honestly because the classes are extremely tough. I didn’t even understand what people say. Lots of new words. I lost confidence in my English. Recently, I got along with lots of friends and I manage time more than before, which is great. (I think I have never managed time this well ever in my life. haha)

What are some of your career and educational goals?

Actually, I came here wanting to work at international organizations such as the UN or NGOs; but I am not sure about it lately. Of course it would be amazing if I can work there 15420820_1176663075781647_4824011862843425141_nthough. My ultimate goal is changing this world for the better in a very rough translation; but more than that, I want to let people know what I am learning right now, which is about human rights/ refugee problems/ women’s issues especially for people in Japan. As my home country, I want Japan to be more open-minded, generous and considerate. Also, I like to write so I hope to get the chance to do so and send the message all over the world.

What do you look forward to getting  out of this Master’s program at AU SIS?

I wonder how much knowledges I will be able to obtain by the final day of graduate school — That’s what I am looking forward to!!

Are there any accomplishments you want to highlight?

I have not accomplished anything since I came here; but I just want to be a good student. haha I am sure it will always lead to my best.

Is there any work you want share?

I went to the Philippines 3 years ago to see the poverty situation. I can say that volunteer work was one of the  biggest reasons that brought me here. My work was basically spending time with children in an orphanage in smoky mountain, which is the mountain 1013803_460276640753631_447953498_n.jpgof garbage that children pick assets from to exchange into money. The poverty was real and it mede me cry because that was the first time I saw such conditions. I thought how unfair the world is, how powerless I was. But even though they were living there with not enough resources and education, their smiles were the brightest smiles that I have ever seen in my life. On the final day of the work, I promised myself that I want to keep their smiles as they were. I appreciate those kids who gave me a chance to be here, studying human rights.

Are there any final thoughts you would like to share about your experience thus far as a graduate student?

Just a message to international students who may concern about life–  right now I am having hard time dealing with this grad school life; but I got used to it to some extent. I always try to remember and imagine myself overcoming this tough term and achieved what I want to do and that helps me a lot to get through. Being an international student is tough. But as long as you have faith, stay strong and do the best, there is nothing you will regret about. To all international students who want to get in AU– AU is amazing.

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