Student Stories

Trissia Wijaya

Graduated GCP in September 2017 Indonesia

“As a government-sponsored international student, I studied an issue that is a sensitive problem in my home country.
I want to become a researcher who looks at the world from both the Japanese and South Asian perspective.”

In high school, I attended a school in Osaka on a short-term exchange student program.

I became interested in Japan and wanted to come back again. I wanted to learn more about Japan. From that point onward, the "face of Japan" was Kansai for me. And when I received the chance to go to Japan as a government-sponsored international student through the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, I chose the Graduate School of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University because it is located in my beloved Kansai and has a high quality level in its teachers.

Regarding the research environment, I was surprised to find research offices with private desks available. Being able to study as much as you want in the office is an amazing boon in my opinion.

There are international students from many different countries in the department, and through them I was able to learn about a variety of different cultures. Being able to develop a dedication to tolerance in accepting differences in cultures and customs is another one of the merits of studying at the Graduate School of International Relations.

In a seminar given by Professor Honna, an expert in Southeast Asia research, I conducted research on the economic activity of people of Chinese descent in Indonesia, particularly on corporate networks. The research environment in Indonesia for this theme is unsatisfactory. The reason for that is the issue of Chinese descendants in Indonesia has become a sensitive problem, particularly recently. But in Japan, it is possible to access various resources on Indonesia, and I was able to look at my home country objectively. It was a very good place for research.

In social sciences research, there is the difficulty of your research target phenomenon changing over time. Amidst change after change, such as doubts about whether my chosen theme was acceptable or if I should change my area of focus, and with the devoted support I received from my teacher, I dove into profound thought regarding my master's thesis, made frequent corrections, and was able to somehow finish the thesis. The difficulty itself is what made me all the more satisfied with its content. And the thesis allowed me the opportunity to receive a scholarship for a university in Australia. At the Australian university, I want to research about the relationships between Indonesia and Japan and Indonesia and China. There are still not very many examples of research from the Southeastern Asian side concerning the relationship between Southeast Asia and Japan. And this is why I want to pursue that theme, and why I believe it has meaning.

For my future, I would like to continue researching as a staff member at a university in Australia or Japan.