Former DMDP students introduce their 2years at 2 universities.
Completed GSIR Master's Program on March 2014
My objective for entering the DMDP to AU besides the obvious scholarly and financial boon of receiving an education from an American institution at Japanese university tuition price was to experience the life in the US. Having been brought up in Europe, having studied in the UK and having lived in Japan, the last major developed region yet to be experienced by myself was the new world. To this end, my year as a guest to the US proved most fruitful. Not only did I learn the great variations of the American people by ethnicity, state of origin and geographical regions, I could measure ever so slightly with untrained eyes the nature of these very same Americans. The students and the people around AU were people instilled with vigour and vision. An energetic bunch with a healthy dosage of ambition and strength of will rarely seen in Japan, the UK or Europe. Whilst I found the SIS fixation of methodology and empirical research unnecessarily suffocating, I came to understand that at least the basis of their argument to the importance of making a science out of the study of politics and the matters of state was sound. While I joked amongst my colleagues that we had economists in this world for a reason, I had to concede that the compulsory credit requirements in basic economic principles and international economics to be enlightening and potentially very interesting if given an opportunity to study it in my own time. My unfortunately short time studying multilateralism under Dr. Acharya made it painstakingly clear to me the value of fields in international relations I had until then dismissed, notably matters of international law. An interest I made good use of as there was a corresponding course on international law in the second semester.
Both my practicum as well as the internship was different facets of my main fields of study. I truly enjoyed my time at the International Peace and Security Institute as an Intern, their projects to teach the art of peace-making most refreshing. Meanwhile the Practicum gave me much insight as to what governments can do to influence the people to support national interest.
I had hoped that DMDP to SIS would provide me with a pretext and an opportunity to open my eyes elsewhere in the fields of study of the matters of states. My background in historical and highly security oriented fields can only be strengthened with knowledge of these more idealistic fields. I wish to truly thank Ritsumeikan and AU for providing me with this opportunity and hope others after me can make use of this program.
The International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam(ISS)
Completed GSIR Master's Program on September, 2012
It was a very worthwhile experience participating in DMDP.
The International Institute of Social Studies is a real international institute that among nearly 180 students in our new batch, there are students from more than fifty different nationalities. Many students have working experiences as a lawyer, government official, NGO project coordinator, etc. Studying together with them and having discussion in class with them enable me to expose myself to many different ideas coming from different perspectives, which not only help enrich my knowledge but also learn new ways of thinking. At the same time, the professors in ISS also come from many different nationalities. They are all very kind, helpful, and willing to share their rich experiences.
The coursework in ISS is very intensive. Students are required to take general course, foundation courses, academic skill course and information literacy in term one. Among them, the foundation courses consist of three courses to be chosen from three different groups-economic, politics and sociology. Then in term two, students start taking the core courses of their own specialization, selective courses, and research methodology courses. The course evaluation usually includes essay assignments, in-class presentation, and final exam. There are quite a lot of readings required for each course. Therefore, practice to read fast and effectively is very important. It is a kind of tradition that ISS students usually form study groups to discuss the questions and issues raised in class. It is helpful to listen to different opinions, especially when you are confused on a certain topic.
ISS also organizes many cultural events for students. For example, every year in November, there is the International Day when students from different countries put on their traditional clothes, cook their traditional food, and display their unique culture through exhibition or performance. The students committee SCHOLAS also organizes some events such as day-trips. Apart from that, since all the students stay in dormitories near school, there are always chances of getting together and sharing a good time with each other.
The Hague is a peaceful and beautiful small city which is very suitable for study. In short, participating in DMDP was a wonderful experience that I would recommend to all the students in IR.