The Global Simulation Gaming course prepared ourselves for future roles in international relations.

Mutiara Nadine ANDREAPUTRI
Fourth-year Global Studies Major / International Student from Indonesia

We interviewed Mutiara Nadine ANDREAPUTRI, a fourth-year Global Studies major student who has been passionate about various on- and off-campus activities, including the Global Simulation Gaming course. Nadine describes the College of International Relations as a safe environment where you can make mistakes and gradually develop yourself.

What attracted you to apply to the College of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University, and what motivates you to study Global Studies?

NadineWhen I was a high school student, I had many interests and questions about myself, things that were happening around me, how I could make sense of life, and how I should be able to function as a useful individual. There was a moment where I had discretion and prayed to determine my future life choices. I believe it was during that time I encountered information from my teacher about the College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University, and its offered major in English, Global Studies. Since I was majoring in math and science in high school, I doubted the idea of continuing my studies by majoring in Global Studies. Moreover, I did not have any knowledge about Japanese.

However, I reached out to a senior who, at that time, was studying at Ritsumeikan and taking the Global Studies major to ask more about the dynamics of student life. His experience intrigued and challenged me at the same time. Ritsumeikan provides an environment where people from all over the world can meet and share their opinions. It is an open space to discuss various thoughts regarding different spectrums of life, such as society, environment, identity, cultures, politics, languages, etc. In addition, there are multiple opportunities for international students to explore their interests and potentials, which could help them discover themselves and further equip them with the skills and abilities they need when they enter society.

Perhaps the pandemic has influenced how I became full of questions and worries, especially after it caused domestic and international instability and concern. Regardless, at that moment I believed that I might be able to find answers and better understand life, find my purpose, and develop myself from here. Therefore, I decided to continue my studies by majoring in Global Studies.

After enrolling, has your perception of the College of International Relations or Global Studies major changed?

NadineAfter enrolling, I learned so much from my major. The very broad scope of studies allows me to learn about various issues from all over the world through different perspectives and address the problems by using different approaches. For instance, before studying at Ritsumeikan, I had several negative opinions about governments, but it was only because I did not know how to think and analyze comprehensively the measurement the government was taking, the gravity of its impacts, factors to consider before making the policies, who were or were not benefited, etc. I believe my study at Ritsumeikan has shaped my ability to academically and carefully assess what is happening around me and how to respond accordingly in the most strategic way.

Additionally, studying here motivates me to take actions and make a change for society. It is not limited to studying literature and classes; majoring in Global Studies at Ritsumeikan has also encouraged and taught me to learn from every opportunity I encounter as a student and individual. For example, to engage in events held by the Indonesian government in Japan as a committee and to be involved in organizations out of campus to serve society as well as to improve myself. The things I learned from those experiences are valuable to my self-development, and such realization reveals that the idea I had that encouraged me to major in Global Studies at Ritsumeikan is indeed a right decision.

How was the Global Simulation Gaming course during your second year?

NadineIt was certainly a challenging experience. I belonged to the UN Secretariat, working under the Secretary-General for Global Communications. I had to join the class online for a few months before I could finally enter Japan after the travel restriction was lifted. It was the first time I went to the campus. I met a lot of people from different countries who I had to work, cooperate, and collaborate with. I used to interact with them online, hence, it was truly a memorable experience to finally meet my colleagues in person.

The hybrid class undeniably affected our performance. While some actors were enthusiastic about formulating treaties and agreements through active cooperation and negotiation, the format of the class and the pandemic seemed to have some impact on the students’ activities. For instance, it affected the interest of the actors in holding a meeting addressing the proposed issue and the number of participants actively involved in the policymaking. Despite the obstacles and difficulties, we were eager to do our best, as the course should be an opportunity to get ready to be a part of the international system in the future.

What would be the benefits of Global Simulation Gaming?

NadineGlobal Simulation Gaming allows us to express ourselves as an actor in the international system to address global issues related to the course's theme. Therefore, the course becomes a vessel to develop oneself in regard to honing their skills and expanding their knowledge about the dynamics of international relations. The opportunity to act as a certain actor also encourages the student to act accordingly as to how the entities function in the real world. Thus, we had to research the actors we were assigned to understand how to properly act throughout the course. In addition, interactions between actors, as they are expected to reach agreements, are also followed by disagreement. In such a situation, Global Simulation Gaming allows us to practically develop our diplomatic and negotiation skills essential in international relations.

Please share your most fulfilling activity or most unforgettable experience while at Ritsumeikan University.

NadineI have a principle to do my best and let God do the rest. The idea motivates me to work as much as I can, and I rarely expect something I doubt I can achieve. Nevertheless, during my study at Ritsumeikan, it was such an unexpected moment that I received the Saionji Memorial Scholarship 2020 and the R+ Undergraduate Scholarship 2023. I am truly grateful to Ritsumeikan, and I am honored for the valuable opportunities given to me. In addition, Ritsumeikan has been more than just a place to study for me. The friends and memories I made along the way inside and outside of campus are as meaningful and valuable. There were multiple events that I am really grateful for that I could participate in. For instance, I participated as a teaching assistant for the Global Simulation Gaming 2023, became a Ritsumeikan Food Bank member and volunteer, joined intercultural exchange programs advertised by Ritsumeikan University in their affiliated schools, such as Ritsumeikan Primary, Junior High, and Senior High Schools, participated in the ICRC Role Play Competition 2022, was a part of the Zemi Research Convention annually, etc. There are truly countless unforgettable experiences.

What are your plans after graduation? What made you pursue them?

NadineI have to be honest that I am still uncertain about what kind of job I want to do in the future. However, I am willing to do something I am passionate about. I want to contribute to positive changes in society. I believe that as long as we do our best with positive goals to manifest, we can certainly achieve success, which definition varies between individuals. I am considering working for the government in the field of IR, politics, and/or society, for an NGO in the field of humanities, or for any organizations related to my interest in development. I understand that there are multiple problems in our world with layers of complexity, and it would be a challenging mission for us and the younger generation to address them.

NadineIf I focus on a certain area, I would like to dedicate myself to developing my home country, Indonesia, as it appears to have unequal development issues as one of its major problems affecting the well-being of the people in question. What motivates me to have such thoughts is my mother. She said once, "Before we focus on something big, look around us carefully and see what you can do to those closest to us." Indeed, there is always more to achieve and pursue, but instead of looking up, looking around and being aware of what we could contribute today would help us develop further together. The future is indeed uncertain, but if we have values and principles, with continuous effort, I believe we can overcome the obstacles we are facing and pursue our passion.

Could you send some messages to prospective students for the College of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University?

NadineI would like to assure you that studying at Ritsumeikan University will be a valuable and memorable experience for you as it will be an opportunity for you to develop yourself, your passion, and your interest. It is normal to be confused about what you are doing or what you want to do, but you must be aware of the opportunities that lie in front of you that would assist you to gradually improve, and studying at Ritsumeikan provides you with numerous opportunities to take advantage of. In the College of International Relations, the instructors are supportive and helpful, classes are interactive, it is always exciting to have a discussion with fellow students, the campus facilities are accommodating, there are various clubs to join, and being a student in Japan opens the door to opportunities if you are interested in doing part-time jobs and volunteering. It is a safe place to make mistakes and develop as the students here are all striving to be better. It is more exciting as we are progressing together.

NadineAdditionally, do not be afraid of being alone because there are so many communities and organizations inside and outside of school managed by officials, locals, and students to accommodate your interests and inquiries. As I mentioned in the beginning, when I first decided to continue my studies at Ritsumeikan University, I had a lot of questions and doubts about myself and the world, but studying here has helped me discover the answer I was looking for and especially prepare myself as an individual to be ready to function in society. Therefore, do not hesitate to take a leap and experience it yourself.

May 2024