My experience at Ritsumeikan University, studying with students with a variety of backgrounds, meeting people working in international cooperation field, lead to my current path.

Umi Izumi
Global Studies Major alumni 2019

After graduation, I joined a unique company called Borderless Japan corp, and engaged in launching new “social businesses”. Borderless Japan is a group of social entrepreneurs and runs different kinds of businesses to solve social issues, such as poverty, child labor, etc. Since 2021, I have been working in a overseas division of an NGO.

Please tell us about your current job.

IzumiI am currently working as a programme officer at a Japanese NGO and I have been based in the Middle East for the past 2 years. My organization delivers humanitarian aid to vulnerable populations such as children, women and refugees across the Middle East, and I am primarily responsible for projects in the educational field.

My job requires me to cover all kinds of work in order to provide humanitarian aid timely and in an appropriate manner. For instance, I do regular monitoring, negotiate with related actors, and supervise finance. It is a tough job as I have to be flexible at all times to tackle volatile situations, however, I am grateful for this opportunity to be able to work with people in need.

How does your experience while at the College of International Relations are benefiting you now?

IzumiI now live in the Middle East and work with people from different backgrounds on a daily basis. I feel that the experience of studying International Relations and Development Studies in English and with students with a variety of backgrounds at Ritsumeikan University and at SOAS, University of London, where I studied as an exchange student, is essential to my current job.

In addition, Ritsumeikan University provided us opportunities to meet and listen to people working in international cooperation fields, such as the United Nations, NGOs and JICA. Those gave me clear ideas about these jobs and helped me to think about my own career path. Moreover, quite a few professors at Ritsumeikan University have great actual working experiences in the fields of international cooperation, and I strongly believe I was able to learn not only at an academic level but also to see things on a practical level.

What are the attractive points to study at the International Relations, Ritsumeikan University?

IzumiI have chosen Ritsumeikan University, Global Studies Major because Global Studies has a unique international atmosphere and provides courses related to development studies entirely in English. As English is my second language, I must admit it was a tough challenge to study at Ritsumeikan University, however, I have gained a lot throughout the university life. I can confidently tell people that this unique and challenging environment helped me to shape who I am, and it definitely made it easier and quicker for me to adapt to difficult situations.

Any messages from you to the future students in the College of International Relations?

IzumiIf you are worried or hesitate to study at Ritsumeikan University, maybe because you are travelling from other countries or because of the language barrier, I would highly recommend you to push yourself a little bit and study at Ritsumeikan University. You will not be the only person to struggle, and you will always find someone to support you. In any way, I wish the best for your future no matter what you decide!!

September 2023