PERSON : Ms. Jana Makovnikova (Slovakia)
Ms. Jana Makovnikova (Slovakia)
2nd year master student of the Department of Scientific and Engineering Simulation, Graduate School of Engineering
After finishing high school in Slovakia, I found out about a possibility to study at a Japanese university using the scholarship program MEXT provided by Japan’s ministry of education. After a year of studying Japanese at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, I moved to NITech to pursue my studies as a computer engineer.
To improve my Japanese language skills and to experience Japanese culture, I joined the Japanese traditional archery club (kyudo). For the first three years of my undergraduate course I did club activities alongside my studies and have learned a lot about the culture, the people and I experienced the determination that everyone was pouring into their goals.
During the last year of my undergraduate studies, I entered the Akira Iwata laboratory under the supervision of Professor Mauricio Kugler and did research to obtain my degree. Doing research was very rewarding. I managed to learn and use new programming languages and I even managed to work with hardware which ended up with me implementing sound localization on an FPGA chip.
After obtaining my bachelor’s degree, I managed to enter the master’s program by recommendation based on my study results, and am currently a second year student, which means I will graduate this year.
During my stay in Japan, whether in Tokyo or NITech, I managed to meet both many Japanese and many foreigners from other countries. Staying at a country so far from my own has made me reevaluate my values. It broadened my understanding of different cultures and made me appreciate the diversity.
After graduation I would like to work as a programmer in Germany. My stay in Japan has shown me that I do not need to limit myself to just my country, but that I am free to choose my own life wherever that might be. I got a boost of confidence from realizing that if I’ve been able to learn a language so different from my own, I can do it again with any other language too.
I am grateful to all of the wonderful people that I have met here, that have helped me out on my way and made my stay here fun. I will always remember the beautiful temples of Kyoto, Nara, Miyajima, the castles in Matsumoto, Inuyama, Nagoya and the view from Tokyo Skytree. I also treasure the memories of the kyudo girl team together with me winning the autumn university league and the many foreigners from Brazil, Finland, Spain, France, India, Malaysia, China, Irak and even Syria.
For all the students that would like to come to NITech I would like to say that it might not all be just fun and games, and becoming a foreigner student is never without certain complications, but challenging one’s self is what makes a person learn and move forward, it is the one way to become a proper adult. Also not limiting one’s self to just his/her own culture and way of thinking is crucial in the global society that we are in today. Studying abroad is a priceless experience that I would highly recommend.