Ryoma Endo (RU Home)
Talking about life at AU and beyond
Ryoma Endo in the JDP first cohort enrolled in the program in April
2018. He started his two-year studies at American University (AU) in
August 2019 after spending one and a half years at Ritsumeikan University (RU).
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, AU has transitioned students to remote learning and he is currently online classes in Japan.
kick-starting his senior year job search, he visited Ritsumeikan
University (RU) for career consultation with his academic advisor.
Here he talks to us about life at AU and his ongoing job searching.
Life at AU
is racially and ethnically diverse. Ryoma was once struck by the high
degree of internationality at RU's College of International Relations,
but later discovered that AU students were more diverse.
AU has a
number of students from other Japanese universities than Ritsumeikan JDP
and there are communities for these students to come together.
He mentioned that being part of such a group provided emotional support at the initial stages.
DC offers a variety of ethnic foodstuff and ingredients. Ryoma used to
shop at groceries nearby and cook for himself in the dorm kitchen. His
dorm mates were curious about his Japanese dishes and often came and
asked for a bite. "Cooking is a great way of getting to know people from
different countries", he says.
did not experience a considerable language barrier as he had taken
classes together with international students for the three semesters at
RU. What first surprised him was that AU students were more proactive
and always expressed their opinions in class. Even after shifting to
remote learning, they continue to speak up throughout online classes.
"They are energetic outside class and actively participate in
internships", Ryoma says.
at AU differs from his home country. Students are expected to submit
many pieces of coursework at AU. "For each course you will be expected
to do a lot of reading on particular topics and discuss your view with
your classmates. Some students do additional reading apart from reading
assignments given by their instructors," he says.
often examines how differently a particular topic are being covered in
the US and Japan. He offers his own insights to classmates who are
interested in Japanese points of views. Naturally the habit of comparing
issues from perspectives of both countries has been developed.
-Interaction among JDP students at AU
offers classes tailored for JDP AU and RU students only and they also
take other classes together. Ryoma used to eat out with his fellow AU
students, join extra-curricular activities such as the visit to the
Embassy of Japan, and go to other fun events such as a Hallowe'en party.
"AU rents out one of the museums at the Smithsonian for one night and
AU students got together in formal attire. This was an unforgettable
memory," he recalled.
Studying in Washington DC
-Creating network through social gatherings
Washington DC, there are a number of social gatherings and events where
you can meet up with people of different ages and nationalities. "You
may find it difficult to walk in these events and talk to working
professionals that you first meet, especially when they are very famous.
But I've prepared my own cards and tried to introduce myself to them as
much as possible," Ryoma says. There he learnt that finding something
in common could keep the conversation going. This has improved his
skills of listening and talking to new people. He did not forget to
reach out to these people through email and could meet again with many
of them. He was offered an opportunity for internship through such
-Organizing visits to international institutions
joined a Japanese association in DC through one of his Japanese friends
at AU. He teamed up with other members of working professionals to
launch tours to visit international institutions and corporations for
Japanese students in DC. His role was coordinating with selected
destinations and advertising events to interested students. So far,
their visits include the White House, the World Bank, Japan Bank for
International Cooperation, Embassy of Japan in the US.
was able to gain very important skills of communications through the
activities and by having a lot of these experiences I could develop both
personally and mentally. If I had been only in Japan, I might not have
ventured doing such things," he says. A change of environment during his
stay in the DC, the center of world politics, has made him proactive.
Ryoma visited RU, Japan's annual recruiting schedule for
soon-to-be-graduates did not started. However, Ryoma, a third year
student spending the Fall semester, has already begun preparation for
job hunting. He attended Boston Career Forum, a career fair for students
studying in the US and participating Japanese corporations started
recruiting. He is open to different possibilities and trying to see
industries and occupations with an open mind.
got interested in marketing and corporate branding during my stay in
the US. Seeing Japanese products overseas gives you new insights on
brand credibility," he says, "I hope I can take advantage of these
experiences whatever path I choose to take."