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Student & Alumni Voices

Student & Alumni Voices

Undergraduate Curriculum


My dream is to use my creativity and communication skills to create multilingual educational materials and picture books.
Miluska Chuquirachi
Graduated from Colegio San Agustin de Lima (Peru)

What did you do for your internship?

I wanted to improve my translation and writing skills in English, Japanese, and Spanish, so I sought an internship at Yaraku, Inc. Yaraku is a startup company that develops and operates machine translation tools based on the philosophy, “For Enjoyable Global Communications.” I was part of the Yaraku marketing team for 11 days during my summer vacation, and I wrote an article on how intercultural communication should ideally take place within a company.

What did you learn from your internship?

I learned about internal communications at Yaraku from staff all who had very different backgrounds and thought about the fundamental issues faced by the company while taking my own experience and opinions into consideration. Through dialogue, I was able to examine my own thoughts and summarize them in an article titled, “What it means to have a true intercultural communication”

How did the internship change your thinking?

While on assignment, I was able to interact with people working in a different field than university education, which allowed me to relook at my intended career from a new perspective. My dream is to someday create multilingual educational materials and picture books. In the future, I hope to find a position in the publishing or education industries, working in a job related to multilingual communication in a department where I can leverage my creativity and communication skills while using a variety of languages.

Global Studies

Gain real-world experience through fieldwork and volunteering.
Take on the challenges of multicultural coexistence.

Liu Yidi
Enrolled in the Five-Year Integrated Program from the fourth year
Graduated from Shanghai Ganquan Foreign Languages Middle School (Shanghai, China)

Please share your reasons for choosing CIC.

I had two reasons. The first was that I had personally experienced multicultural coexistence as someone born an ethnic minority in China and raised in the international city of Shanghai. I believe that in the future, globalization will continue to progress and society will require intercultural communication skills.

The second was that even if I couldn’t decide what field to specialize in at the time of admission, I could choose my specialty after extensive study of four subject areas.

What subjects are you learning about?

In the spring semester of my first year, I learned about the condition and challenges of children with international roots living in Japanese society in my Introduction to Multi/intercultural Issues course. It made me want to do something myself to help as a foreigner living in Japan, so I went to the Volunteer Center. A week later, I began providing volunteer Chinese translation and interpreting as well as study support at the Toshima Children’s WAKUWAKU Network, a non-profit organization. Through my work there, I became keenly aware of the complexity of the social obstacles faced by children with international roots, and the need to create spaces for them. None of the issues are easy to solve, but I wanted to take action as a student and I am currently developing multiple activities, such as online meetups for these children. Furthermore, I decided to apply to the Five-Year Integrated Program’s International Cooperation Professional Course in order to dig deeper into real-world challenges.

Currently, I’m working on my undergraduate graduation research and my graduate school master’s thesis researching Nepalese children living in Japan. Going forward, I plan to participate in a study tour of Nepal in order to do field research. I want to see these children’s home country with my own eyes and gain a deeper understanding of conditions in a developing nation, and in the future, participate in international development and cooperation projects.

Exchange Student

Experiencing life in another country and learning languages has helped me to grow.

Isabelle Turney
Austin Peay State University (USA)

With my friends from CIC, I don’t have to worry about everyday life!

I have loved history and geography since I was a child, and I have always wanted to study foreign languages. Although I studied Japanese for four years in my home country, I struggled to become conversationally fluent. Since I also wanted to gain international experience and interact with people from other countries, I decided to study abroad at CIC.
I have made friends with Japanese students at CIC who are my Buddies, and we are teaching each other our languages. My friends at CIC have helped me through all kinds of everyday situations such as buying a SIM card for my cell phone and asking station staff for help when my transportation IC card stopped working. To tell the truth, before coming to Japan, my biggest fear was that I would be unable to handle the small problems one faces in daily life all by myself, so I am very grateful for my friends at CIC who help me to live worry-free.

Overcoming fear when learning a new language

I took part in the English Camp with children from Toshima Ward, Tokyo, and Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture, as part of the “Service Learning C” course. Fear is the biggest barrier when it comes to learning a new language. What’s more, the younger the person, the more fearful they are likely to be. At the English Camp, we tried a variety of ways to free the children from this fear. I learned a great deal from this process, and I think that I acquired some very important skills in language teaching. I also appreciated the opportunity to learn about other cultures from a Japanese person’s perspective. All the programs offered at CIC are extensive and I enjoyed the opportunities to interact with a variety of people in Japanese society.

Outside-of-Class Programs
Appealing, Exploring, Challenging - Life at CIC

I deepened my understanding of Japan and the Japanese language by interacting with all kinds of people in Japanese society.
Marica Hilaire
University of Orléans, France

Attending CIC: The perfect, beautiful choice

I attend the University of Orléans in France, and I am currently studying in the College of Intercultural Communication (CIC) at Rikkyo University, a partner university of the University of Orléans, as an international exchange student. I started learning Japanese in 2012 and wanted to study in Japan in order to improve my language skills. I chose CIC at Rikkyo University because my professor in France recommended it to me, the campus is beautiful, and the chance to attend lectures with Japanese students and other international students really appealed to me.

Actively participating in outside-of-class programs

While living in Japan, I participated in various outside-of-class programs. The reason why I chose to participate in such programs is that I felt that actually using the language would help me to improve my language skills. In particular, Asian languages are very different from French and English, and it was difficult for me to learn the language. That’s why the these programs were a really special experience for me. For example, I got to speak to and play games with children in the Children’s Cafeteria event. The English Camp in Rikuzentakata was also a unique experience. Participating in the Japanese Speech Contest was nerve-racking, but after it was over, I felt really glad that I had decided to give it a go.

Stepping out of the comfort zone

Going to a country that you are not familiar with and choosing to live there despite the language and cultural differences is something that requires courage. Japan’s teaching style is very different from that in France, but the CIC students and staff were warm and welcoming to me from the beginning, so I was able to quickly get used to it without feeling much stress or trepidation. Getting to know people of all sorts of nationalities and being able to learn so much about Japan and other countries really allowed me to get out of my comfort zone, and I felt that my self-confidence increased as well. My goal is to continue improving my Japanese language skills and further increase my knowledge of Japan.

Alumni in Society

Graduated 2021

Four years at CIC taught me about “differences,” which helps me to run my business smoothly with people from many different countries.
Pham Thuy Linh
Graduated March 2021
Restaurant Management
2020 Married a Korean man in her native Vietnam while still a student at CIC.
2021 Graduated from CIC. Opened a restaurant in Vietnam with her husband, taking responsibility for customer relations and personnel management .
2023 Restaurant listed in the Michelin Guide

Opening a restaurant in my home country after graduating from university

In January 2021, I opened a New York-style restaurant with my husband in the city of Hanoi in my native country of Vietnam. My husband is the head chef, while I am responsible for customer relations and personnel management. Although many restaurants went out of business during the COVID-19 pandemic, our first customer spread the word about our restaurant by sharing photos. Our reputation grew from there, allowing us to attract a stable customer base. Thanks to the relationships that we have built with our food suppliers, we now receive many orders from foreign businesses for events such as dinner parties. Two years after opening, our restaurant was listed in the Michelin Guide.
Thanks to our customers and suppliers, our restaurant is running well, but business is never easy. We try to remain humble and to keep learning.

If different values are accepted, mental barriers disappear

In 2015, I left Vietnam to study abroad in Japan, where I met my future Korean husband at a Japanese language school. He had aspirations of becoming a chef. We promised each other that we would one day open a restaurant together, and in 2020, I returned to Vietnam, and we got married. We began preparations to open our restaurant.
CIC hosts international students from many different countries, and I was able to make a lot of friends, some of them Japanese. The class that left a lasting impression on me was “Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.” There were many international students in this class, and I was frequently surprised at the differences between us. The lesson that our values are formed beginning in childhood and differ from country to country, and that failing to accept different values will build up walls of discrimination, remains deeply etched in my mind. Nowadays I frequently interact with customers, chefs, and businesses from many different countries, and I think that the fact that I can talk and conduct business with them without feeling any barriers is thanks to my studies at CIC.

Graduated 2019

I want to create content that can be recognized globally by utilizing my multilingual and logical thinking skills.
Lee Yu Shan
Graduated March 2019
Working at an advertising agency in South Korea
2019 Returned to home country Malaysia after graduating from university. Later, studied at a language school in South Korea, and got married and had a child.
2020 Enrolled in the Graduate School of Global Culture Contents at Chungnam National University.
2023 Joined current company.

Went to CIC from Malaysia, learned about “Difference” in Japan.

I enrolled as a regular international student at CIC from my home country, Malaysia, with a focus on improving my Japanese language skills. To deepen my understanding of the language, I also devoted myself to studying Japanese culture. During that time, the concept of critical thinking left the strongest impression on me. When I learned about the Iceberg Theory, it was shocking to realise that what is visible is only a small fraction of the whole, and that there are more important things hidden beneath the surface. People can have different thoughts about one thing, depending on their position and perspective. This made me realise that even though I thought I had understood the concept of ‘difference’, there was much more to learn.

Additionally, I actively participated in various activities within the university, such as the international exchange program, LINK CIC (an official student organization in CIC), and the English Camp. These activities enriched and made my student life fulfilling.

Learned content creation in a graduate school in South Korea and now work in the planning and sales department of an advertising agency.

After graduating, I studied abroad in South Korea. I learned that South Korea’s content attracted attention not only from Asia, but also from the world. Because video editing was already a hobby of mine, I wanted to learn more extensively about it. After attending Korean language school for a year, I enrolled in the Graduate School of Global Culture Contents at Chungnam National University.

While studying, I got married and had a child. I also participated in an internship at a design company. Through my involvement in global marketing work, I realized that I enjoyed planning and coming up with ideas. After the internship, I participated in a local video editing contest and won the grand prize. This was the starting point for my job hunt, where I focused on keywords like “planning”, “marketing” and “account executive (AE)”. After that, I joined my current company.

As an AE, my role is to use my language skills to gather information, discover the needs of advertisers, and organize the collected information into logical proposals. Since my learning days at CIC, I have been eager to use the multi-perspective and logical thinking skills that I developed.

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