Student Life

Student Voice

Tell us about your research theme.

My research focuses on the synthesis of a new liquid crystalline polymer with gold atoms. Moreover, liquid crystalline behaviour, photoluminescence and other properties of gold complexes are also investigated. The goal of my research is the elucidation of intriguing photoluminescence mechanisms and the application of gold complexes to functional materials such as sensors and luminescence devices.

Why did you choose to study at Ritsumeikan University?

Studying in Japan has been one of my dreams. I continuously researched information about the Monbukagakusho Scholarship and other announcements on the Internet. Ritsumeikan University is one of the best choices because it has many modern instruments and expert professors in every field of study. Many professors and associate professors have an excellent background in education. By studying here, I can rapidly increase my experience and my skill. This is the reason why I choose to study in Japan, especially at Ritsumeikan University. Moreover, I am interested in the subjects here such as the development of a new liquid crystalline polymer that might be applicable to functional materials or electronic devices.

What is your favorite thing about Ritsumeikan University?

After I came here and studied at Ritsumeikan University, I really enjoyed my daily life with my foreign friends in Ritsumeikan’s dormitory. I also enjoyed the time my professor and Japanese friends in my laboratory. They always supported me and took a good care of me no matter what. Moreover, Ritsumeikan University is located in a beautiful place that is surrounded by mountains and nature.

Why would you recommend studying at Ritsumeikan University to another scholar?

I would recommend studying at Ritsumeikan University to another scholar because Ritsumeikan University is very famous for having many international students; modern libraries, innovative instruments and expert professors in every field of study. It is a great opportunity for anyone to accumulate knowledge, gain new experiences and improve their skill in their field of study.

Were you worried about your new life at Ritsumeikan University before your arrival? If so, how did your worries change after arriving?

Before my arrival, I was worried about living and communicating with other people, especially in Japanese, and how I could improve my Japanese language skills for communication. However, I found that many others can speak English well, and Ritsumeikan University provides guidelines for living and making good relationships with Japanese people. Moreover, there are Japanese courses every semester to help me improve my Japanese language skills.

How do you think your experience at Ritsumeikan University will help you achieve your goals?

To become a lecturer is one of my dreams. Hence, one of my goals is to graduate with a doctoral degree. I will convey and apply knowledge gained from acquiring my doctoral degree in order to develop a new education and share new knowledge with people in my country. I am confident that the experience and knowledge gained during my studies at Ritsumeikan University will help me achieve my goals.

Tell us about your research theme.

My research is focused on developing novel dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) as well as p- and n-type organic solar cells (OSCs) using synthetic chlorophylls(= Chls) as sensitizers. The fast consumption of limited fossil fuels nowadays, and the resulting energy and environmental crisis make it more urgent than ever to find a clean and renewable energy source. Solar energy is expected to play a crucial role in the world’s energy consumption in the future. Since the first practical silicon solar cells were fabricated, numbers of efficient solar cells with varied materials have been developed, most of them being based on inorganic materials. Although high power conversion efficiency (η) can be obtained by inorganic devices, many problems such as high costs and toxic or complex process still hinder extensive application. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) and organic solar cells (OSCs), have attracted considerable attention as promising energy sources due to being light weight, low cost, easily fabricated, and using abundant and varied material sources.

Why did you choose to study at Ritsumeikan University?

There are two reasons why I choose to study and conduct research at Ritsumeikan University. The first reason is that professor Tamiaki has a very high level of knowledge in bioorganic chemistry and has a great reputation at my university in China (Jilin University). The second reason is that Ritsumeikan University is one of the leading private universities in Japan. Ritsumeikan University labs are equipped to the highest degree for scientific research. I also saw that so many high quality papers were published from this university. I gradually realized that Ritsumeikan University was the best choice for my future. At that time, I immediately decided that I would continue my doctoral studies at Ritsumeikan University.

What is your favorite thing about Ritsumeikan University?

My favorite thing about Ritsumeikan University is that it has very good conditions for research and life. Firstly, the International House is very comfortable and was very welcoming when I first arrived at this university. Secondly, the free-gym is a very cool place where I can exercise my body and find a balance between research and sports. Thirdly, Ritsumeikan University is a beautiful place where I can enjoy my life.

Why would you recommend studying at Ritsumeikan University to another scholar?

The highest level professors, the best research atmosphere, full range of experimental equipment, suitable life-facilities, everything was provided by Ritsumeikan University. These conditions will greatly change your research ability and life for the better.

Were you worried about your new life at Ritsumeikan University before your arrival? If so, how did your worries change after arriving?

Yes, I was worried about my new life at Ritsumeikan University. On the one hand, I feared I would be unable to adapt to the living environment in Japan because it was my first time to study abroad. On the other hand, I was worried about my research because my doctoral program was different from my master’s program research. But now, I enjoy both very much. Ritsumeikan University provides the best living environment for students. My advisor professor Tamiaki and his students in the laboratory were very kind and cooperative. In here, I feel extremely happy and satisfied.

How do you think your experience at Ritsumeikan University will help you achieve your goals?

I am pretty sure research at Ritsumeikan University will not only help me learn all kinds of skills for experiments and polish my critical and independent thinking abilities, but also teach me about how to design projects and cooperate with other teams. It will surely be beneficial for me when conducting scientific research in the future.

Tell us about your research theme.

My research theme is about the purification and characterization of α-1,3-glucanase from bacteria. This enzyme can be used as an antifungal and to solve dental plaque problems in humans due to α-1,3-glucan found in its structure.

Why did you choose to study at Ritsumeikan University?

There are many reasons why I chose to study here. First of all, Ritsumeikan University provides a course in enzyme technology, which I want to study about. Secondly, I trust the quality of the university and that it can improve my experiments, research and language skills because of its appropriate facilities and environment. Lastly, the location of Ritsumeikan University (Biwako Campus) is beautiful and it’s easy to go to big cities such as Kyoto and Osaka, so the life is comfortable.

What is your favorite thing about Ritsumeikan University?

My favorite thing at Ritsumeikan University is the people, including professors, staff and lab members, because they always support me, not only in terms of research but also daily life in Japan. This allowed me to enjoy research and be happy living in Japan every day.

Why would you recommend studying at Ritsumeikan University to another scholar?

Ritsumeikan University is a good choice if you want to receive a precious experience with great support. They offer all the necessary things to encourage you in your field and everyday life, including learning facilities (books and instruments), expert advice (professors), comfortable and beautiful places, and warm welcoming people.

Were you worried about your new life at Ritsumeikan University before your arrival? If so, how did your worries change after arriving?

In my opinion, it’s very common that people have concerns when they start a life in a new place. I was no different. “How about my experiments?” “How about friends?” These questions were in my mind before I had arrived. However, when I actually arrived, all my worries were lifted and I become used to new life naturally. I didn’t have many troubles with language barriers since Ritsumeikan University provided a Japanese course for foreigners, and the staff and students can also use English.

How do you think your experience at Ritsumeikan University will help you achieve your goals?

Like I mentioned before, Ritsumeikan University offers all the things that I need to improve myself though its facilities, courses, materials, community and opportunities. This support encourages me to receive a good result in my research and also gives me valuable experiences which will be of great benefit to my future occupation.

Tell us about your research theme.

In recent years, the synthesis of dipeptides in clinical nutrition has become increasingly important in enzyme biotechnology. Although there are different ways of manufacturing dipeptides, much attention has been directed to enzymatic peptide synthesis instead of the chemical approach. The methodology for possible synthesis of biologically active peptides has not yet been fully exploited. The aim of my research is the application of the α-amino-acid esterase enzyme for synthesizing different dipeptides, purification and molecular characterization.

Why did you choose to study at Ritsumeikan University?

I choose Ritsumeikan University because there is a large selection of studies, good lecturers and an excellent social life. The University has greatly excelled in my field of interest which is difficult to find at other universities.

What is your favorite thing about Ritsumeikan University?

It's almost impossible to pick just one thing about Ritsumeikan to call your favorite, but if I have to do so, the people get my vote. I believe the people at Ritsumeikan are what make it such an amazing place. They are very friendly, co-operate and do not hesitate to share knowledge.

Why would you recommend studying at Ritsumeikan University to another scholar?

“Creating a future beyond borders,” this is the motto of Ritsumeikan. This university offers students an opportunity to learn new things and prepare themselves for the highest apex of their success. Here professors and researchers are practiced world leaders in their fields of research. The career center at Ritsumeikan also works to smoothly connect students to both domestic and international opportunities, making it possible for a foreigner to get a job after completing their studies.

Were you worried about your new life at Ritsumeikan University before your arrival? If so, how did your worries change after arriving?

Adapting to new surroundings is always challenging for everyone. I was not so worried about my new life. Before my arrival I tried to learn more about studying abroad and my host country. It helped me to anticipate future events and develop strategies to successfully adjust to life abroad. Besides, many fellows from my country studied at this university before. Their experiences helped me adapt to the new environment and culture.

How do you think your experience at Ritsumeikan University will help you achieve your goals?

I think working with experienced people will lead me to find instant solutions to unexpected research problems and to also help me handle workloads properly in a technical manner. I believe my studies at Ritsumeikan University help me to think independently and globally, and help me to design project plans relevant my research area while motivating me to get fruitful results quickly. Ultimately, the university guides me to choose the right path for my career and to achieve my future goals. Besides, the discipline and sincerity that I earned through my studies will certainly be assets to my future career.

Tell us about your research theme.

My research theme is about the microwave-assisted Claisen rearrangement reaction of allyloxyarenes. Claisen rearrangement is a sigmatropic rearrangement that is an important method for the construction of C–C bonds in organic synthesis. Claisen rearrangement of allyloxybenzene is typically performed with a long reaction time and high temperature range, 180-225 oC. Recently, microwave irradiation has been widely explored to enhance some organic reactions. The microwave has become a powerful tool for organic transformation since it gives direct heating which can reduce reaction times and increase reaction yields.1,2

Furthermore, it has been reported that considerable catalytic effect for Claisen rearrangement can be achieved by metal catalysts under mild reaction conditions. Iron (III) chloride, as a Lewis acid catalyst, has been used in a wide variety of organic reactions. Lewis acid can form transition metal complexes that promote and facilitate intramolecular rearrangement. Iron (III) chloride can also be considered a desirable catalyst due to its cheapness, easy handling and environmental friendly properties.1,3 Therefore, I investigate microwave irradiation effects for the Claisen rearrangement of allyloxybenzene in the presence of an Iron (III) chloride catalyst.

Why did you choose to study at Ritsumeikan University?

I got information about Ritsumeikan University from my supervisor in Indonesia. I was told that there was an opportunity to apply for a MEXT scholarship at Ritsumeikan University. I searched for information about Ritsumeikan University and the MEXT scholarship on the Internet. I was surprised to find that Ritsumeikan University was one of the greatest private universities in Japan. Of course, Japan became my desired place to study abroad because Japan is famous for being a beautiful country. So, I decided to submit an application to Ritsumeikan University.

What is your favorite thing about Ritsumeikan University?

There are a lot of things I like at Ritsumeikan University. However, my favorite is the facilities on campus. Ritsumeikan University has full facilities for research and study. As an applied chemistry student, an important matter in research is the availability of reagents and instruments. But I didn`t find any problem with this at Ritsumeikan University, almost all reagents and instruments are available. At BKC there is also the International House for foreign students from various countries. So, we don`t need to worry about our living place. All the facilities here make for a very comfortable study environment.

Why would you recommend studying at Ritsumeikan University to another scholar?

I would recommend other scholars to study at Ritsumeikan University because it has good facilities, a good environment, beautiful places, and high quality research. Studying at Ritsumeikan University will give you the chance to develop your knowledge and your skills as much as you can. This place will provide you with a lot of unforgettable experiences and make your life in Japan full of happiness.

Were you worried about your new life at Ritsumeikan University before your arrival? If so, how did your worries change after arriving?

Of course, this is my first time to go abroad and live far away from my family. I worried about how to communicate because my English is not so good and I also can`t speak Japanese. After I arrived here, I lived in the BKC International House and I could make friends with a lot of students from many countries. I also have Japanese friends that are very kind. I faced many difficulties because I can`t read Kanji, but Japanese people are always friendly and help me. I joined a Japanese class and Japanese course which helped me practice and increase my language skill. Then I soon realized that my language skill will automatically improve through “learning by doing”.

How do you think your experience at Ritsumeikan University will help you achieve your goals?

Ritsumeikan University is a great university in Japan. Graduating from Ritsumeikan University will bring me great pride. Since I started studying here, I learned a lot of new knowledge, not only in research but also about Japanese language and culture. The Japanese culture of hard work and discipline is an important thing in research and projects. I am also learning Japanese as my third language. At Ritsumeikan University, which is an international university, I have a lot of friends from Japan and many other countries that open my mind to the world. I believe that all my experience in Japan will help me to improve myself and achieve my goals. I hope I can use my new knowledge to develop my country.

Tell us about your research theme.

My research theme focuses on the improvement of soil quality for plant growth. The quality of soil depends on its ability to hold moisture as well as circulate air and water.

Soils are complex mixtures of minerals, water, air, organic matter, and countless organisms. Soil provides nutrients for plants, it supports the plant and prevents it from falling over and provides the plant with both oxygen and water to sustain it at its maximum level. It also supplies a home for the many microorganisms which decompose the organic matter in the soil and for some fungi which grow in a symbiotic relationship with some plant roots, known as a mycorrhizal association.

Plants take up nutrients from soil and use them for metabolic activity. In turn these nutrients are returned back to the soil and then the plant will take them up again. This is the kind of nutrient cycling system that most people want in their gardens so that they can have quality soil to successfully grow vegetables and flowers. Unfortunately, not all soil has good quality like the loam soil found in forests and agricultural land. Good quality garden soils contain soil microorganisms that aerate the soils which allow the roots of the garden plants to breathe.

Why did you choose to study at Ritsumeikan University?

Before receiving my scholarship, I searched for more information about Ritsumeikan University on the web. I learned that Ritsumeikan University (RU) was a private university founded in 1900 and is one of Japan’s most well-known universities.

RU has 36,500 students who study and research across the university's four campuses. RU offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs across a wide range of academic disciplines including the humanities, social sciences, arts, sciences and engineering fields. RU attaches a great deal of importance to international education. It is for these reasons that I selected Ritsumeikan University.

What is your favorite thing about Ritsumeikan University?

Ritsumeikan University has many facilities for studying and well equipped laboratories for research. Besides that, it also has a nice and beautiful environment and cafeteria that offers Halal food for Muslim people. Also, there is the gym for exercise and dormitory with many facilities for international students.

Why would you recommend studying at Ritsumeikan University to another scholar?

In my case, since I joined Ritsumeikan University I have not faced any problems. I believe that Ritsumeikan University is one way that I will be able to achieve my aim, which is an MA degree and more knowledge. Therefore I recommend other scholars, especially students from my country Afghanistan, to select Ritsumeikan if you want to reach the pinnacle of knowledge and complete your dreams.

Were you worried about your new life at Ritsumeikan University before your arrival? If so, how did your worries change after arriving?

One thing I was worried about was the Japanese language, because I didn’t know how to communicate with others. When I came to Ritsumeikan University and after I joined my Lab, my dear Sensei (professor) prepared a basic Japanese language class for me and now I can speak basic Japanese.

How do you think your experience at Ritsumeikan University will help you achieve your goals?

Since I joined RU I have learned many things in my Lab (Biotechnology). I learned how to analyze soil based on SOFIX parameters, how to prepare better soil conditions for plant cultivation and gained many more experiences with soil preparation. These have all been main aspects of my field of study (Agronomy)

Tell us about your research theme.

Nowadays, most people would like to get products from natural synthesis by microorganisms rather than products from chemical synthesis. Therefore, my research is to study the properties of enzymes from microorganisms. I am researching the development of large-scale enzyme production. Moreover, I am studying and understanding the function of enzymes and enzyme regulation at the molecular level.

Why did you choose to study at Ritsumeikan University?

Ritsumeikan University is advanced in terms of research and offers some of the most modern facilities, which is of course useful for conducting experiments. There is proper equipment to support me in my research. That is why I decided to study at Ritsumeikan University

What is your favorite thing about Ritsumeikan University?

I love all the things about Ritsumeikan University that I experience in my daily life.

Why would you recommend studying at Ritsumeikan University to another scholar?

Ritsumeikan University is reputable in the field of biotechnology. There is good biotechnology research that relates to my interests and research. Since it is an international program, it is easier to understand lectures. In addition, the environment has a lot of greenery.

Were you worried about your new life at Ritsumeikan University before your arrival? If so, how did your worries change after arriving?

I’m a quick leaner and adaptable, so I can handle all types of situations. However, I was worried about talking with Japanese people. But, everyone was willing to help when I asked for some help or wanted to know something, not only in lectures but also about Japanese culture and daily life.

How do you think your experience at Ritsumeikan University will help you achieve your goals?

I am going to develop many enzymology techniques for routine diagnostic laboratories. The publication of such science will appeal to societies around the world. I intend to create some novel innovations with all of my knowledge and experiences from studying at Ritsumeikan University. The knowledge and experiences that I will gain from my study at Ritsumeikan University will provide the skills for my research, allowing me to further improve myself and apply the knowledge to my future career.

Tell us about your research theme.

I have been doing research and studying in the pharmacology laboratory under the guidance of Prof Hidekazu Tanaka. We focus on observing the relationship between the adhesion of synaptic membranes and synaptic physiology in the CNS. How Cadherin mediates adhesion between pre- and post- synaptic membranes is not well understood. I am interested in playing with protocadherin 8, a member of the Cell Adhesion Molecules (CAMs) expressed in hippocampal synaptic junctions. I am looking for the exact function of protocadherin 8 in hippocampal synaptic junction plasticity using long-term potential treatment with the aim to find out whether protocadherin 8 plays out its own essential roles once synapse specification is achieved like its role during neuronal development.

Why did you choose to study at Ritsumeikan University?

My former supervisor at Brawijaya University offered me the opportunity and I was interested in the project so I applied.

What is your favorite thing about Ritsumeikan University?

I like the environment here. The town is quite small which has huge benefits for studying. This makes it easy to form strong friendships, not only with foreign students but also Japanese students. Biwako-Kusatsu Campus is only about 20 minutes by train from Kyoto City, so it is easy for getting lost a while and seeing Japan’s historical places. Moreover, the collegiate system is unique and supports me in both my future career and life in Japan. It feels like an extended family to me.

Why would you recommend studying at Ritsumeikan University to another scholar?

Ritsumeikan University will give you both an international environment and chance to do cutting-edge research. Many foreigners come to the university for studying, whether for a short-term or long-term period. Furthermore there are many activities for international students that bring together students from all of the faculties and allow you to expand your international relationships. All of the professors are experts in their field and are among the best in Japan. Working so dynamically in the basic sciences will allow you to develop your skills and advance your career.

Were you worried about your new life at Ritsumeikan University before your arrival? If so, how did your worries change after arriving?

Of course I was. There were many things that I was worried about. I knew nothing about Japanese language or culture. Even more, I focused in biotechnology when I pursued my undergraduate studies and now I am studying biomedical science. It was tough for me. Fortunately, I have the best supervisor and lab members who are willing to help me with anything I need. I have started studying Japanese to gradually improve my language ability and understand the basics of my research theme. I clearly remember in my third month being here, I felt homesick. My supervisor found out and asked me to talk about anything, whenever. My colleagues were also aware of it and being more attentive to me. My supervisor said that the most important thing is that I am happy living in Japan. They made me realize that we (foreigners) are not strangers, but family.

How do you think your experience at Ritsumeikan University will help you achieve your goals?

I believe my experiences here will help me enormously in reaching my goals. It has given me research skills, interpersonal expertise and the ability to manage time efficiently. The international environment has strengthened my international relationships and made me more competitive for more extensive research. I love the fact that Ritsumeikan University has a unique system for guiding me to pursue my career goals.

Tell us about your research theme.

My research is focused on the removal of organic and inorganic pollutants in aquatic ecosystems. In recent times, water pollution has become an important issue around the world due to increasing population. Organic and inorganic material from both natural cycles and human activity are the main causes. This could create pressure in the environment, and decrease the quality of water ecosystems. Water is not only essential for aquatic animals, but also for humans. Therefore, it is necessary to take part in the effort to solve this problem by studying about water treatment to improve water quality in aquatic ecosystems.

Why did you choose to study at Ritsumeikan University?

I chose to study at Ritsumeikan University because this university is one of the best private universities in Japan, and has experienced professors and good research facilities in the field of biotechology. Therefore, I decided to choose this university for studying biotechnology.

What is your favorite thing about Ritsumeikan University?

IThe facilities are one of my favorite things about Ritsumeikan University. Not only academic facilities, but also life facilites for foreigners that help provide a comfortable life in Japan. The International House and other facilities also provide assistance for foreign students so that they can adapt to Japanese life easier.

Why would you recommend studying at Ritsumeikan University to another scholar?

For foreign students, Ritsumeikan University provides many study abroad scholarships. This is a good opportunity to study abroad and achieve your goals. Moreover, this university has lots of great facilities for students to develop their knowledge and experience.

Were you worried about your new life at Ritsumeikan University before your arrival? If so, how did your worries change after arriving?

I worried about my new life at Ritsumeikan University before my arrival because of language differences. However, everything was fine after my arrival. I got a warm welcomes from other international students, was assisted by English speaking staff, and recieved countless other forms of support to begin my new life in Japan.

How do you think your experience at Ritsumeikan University will help you achieve your goals?

I have learned many things from my laboratory members and my professor; they help me to improve more in the laboratory and share academic experiences. The wide network of Ritsumeikan University makes me confident about the goals I want to achieve.