Everyone has so many thoughts to share and broaden your horizons!

Moore Grace Elizabeth
Third-year Global Studies Major student

Moore Grace Elizabeth, third-year Global Studies Major student who played a significant role in Global Simulation Gaming (GSG) and awarded Saionji Memorial Scholarship. We interviewed about her activities and her college life.

What motivated you to apply to the college of International Relations , Ritsumeikan University and what did you want to learn in International Relations before enrollment?

GraceI originally came across Ritsumeikan online, when I was researching English medium programs in Japan. However, what ultimately swayed me towards Ritsumeikan, and more specifically the Global Studies program, was when I talked to a representative of the school at a collage fair in eleventh grade.

I remember looking up Ritsumeikan online later that night, and searching through the College of International Relations page as I browsed through my options. There were so many interesting classes listed on the website, including Global Simulation Gaming (GSG), so I was looking forward to getting to learn about a variety of subjects. What I was most interested in learning about, however, was diplomacy and conflict resolution. There were several classes, including classes in law, as well as peace studies, which fit into that area.

I also got the opportunity to visit the Kinugasa campus during the summer between eleventh and twelfth grade, which helped me in my decision to apply to Ritsumeikan University. I remember distinctly walking through the Hirai Kaichiro Memorial Library, and marveling at the sheer number of books – particularly English books – available. Additionally, getting to walk around the area surrounding campus, and realizing how close it was to not just the more 'traditional' aspects of culture, but also to major areas like Kyoto and Osaka, helped in making Ritsumeikan seem all the more charming as an option.

Please tell us that what study are you interested in, and how did you work on for activities after enrollment?

GraceAfter enrolling in Ritsumeikan, and taking several classes, I found that my interests were a bit more widespread than I had first assumed. Initially, I mostly focused on law classes, as I was (and still am) interested in potentially pursuing law after graduation. I've focused primarily on taking all of the law and law related courses available to English medium students, as well as proactively asking professors for extra resources for self-study. One activity outside of classes that I've joined to learn more about law is the Moot Court competition team, which was a great gateway into learning more about international law – particularly outside of criminal law. I think that the key to figuring out what you're really, genuinely interested in is to seek out all of the opportunities you can find related to the topic. There are a number of clubs, circles, and competition teams available at Ritsumeikan, all of which would be great ways to broaden your horizons!

What kind of students are there in the Global Studies Major, and what attracts you to study Global Studies?

GraceWhen looking at the Global Studies program, I'm not sure that I could choose a single defining characteristic to describe everyone. One thing that I can say for sure is that there is a good bit of diversity, both in country of origin, languages spoken, life experiences, and personalities. I know that one of the things that drew me to the Global Studies program is the diversity, because I thought that the most ideal environment to learn about international relations would likely be one that you could define inherently as 'international'.

Within Global Studies Major, you will always be able to find a group of people that will become 'your' people – but I think that more often than not, 'your' people might end up being people you would have never imagined yourself interacting with prior to entering the program. Overall, however, I would say that Global Studies Major students on average are interested in learning, which often makes discussion-based classes interesting, because everyone has so many thoughts to share. The most charming aspect of Global Studies Major is getting to learn from your fellow classmates, and their life experiences.

Here is the video of Grace in Global Simulation Gaming (GSG)

Regarding your activities in the Advanced Seminar, what topic do you intend to work on for your graduation thesis?

GraceCurrently, my work in Zemi has been focused on the pseudo-homosexual relations between soldiers within Western military contexts. During my first semester, I started with a broad overview of pseudo-homosexuality in the military, starting from Ancient Greece, and leading through the Vietnam War. This research focused on how views around pseudo-homosexual and homo-romantic behaviors have changed across time, as well as the general thoughts of various scholars on the causes of such behavior. This last semester, I have stepped back to conduct a sociological analysis of homosociality within male-centric spaces, and the way that themes of hyper-masculinity, violence, and the modern symbol of 'the soldier' intersect to create an environment in which soldiers engage in arguably non-heterosexual interactions with one another. Next semester, I am hoping to narrow the scope of my research to focus on the armies of Great Britain during World WarⅠand Ⅱ, and the factors that influenced the presence or lack thereof of pseudo-homosexual behavior among soldiers at the time.

Any messages from you to the future students in the college of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University?

GraceIf you're interested in learning about international relations in a largely 'international' environment, in English, then I think Ritsumeikan is a great fit! I know that applying to university can often be a stressful experience, and that moving away from home – especially to another country – can feel scary. However, in my eyes, university is possibly the best time to undergo such a drastic life changing experience. If you're truly interested in learning international relations in Japan, and you want to experience the subject matter in real-time, then the time is now. Good luck with your exams, as well as your application materials!!

September 2023