Outgoing: Paul, Ynous, Benjamin, Alexis and Clément at the University of Tsukuba, Japan

Paul Breton, Ynous Diallo, Benjamin Dos Santos, Alexis Dufrenne, Clément Jacquet are five students from the Institute of Technology (IUT) Bordeaux studying for the university diploma in technology (DUT) in IT or Electrical Engineering & Industrial IT. They spent ten weeks at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, carrying out their end of studies internship.

Why did you choose the University of Tsukuba?

Clément: Our IUT offers many internship opportunities in countries such as Canada or Japan. I preferred to choose Japan as my destination in order to explore a completely different culture to France.

Alexis: My choice was based on the promotion made by the IUT of the University of Tsukuba. I was convinced by the strong scientific profile of the university.

Ynouss: For me, Japan was the obvious choice as it is the pioneer country in the field of modern electronics.

Benjamin: I would like to pursue my studies within an engineering school and to achieve this, completing my internship in Japan is a valuable next step.

What are the main differences between universities in France and Japan?

Paul: Japan invests heavily in research and the laboratories are very well equipped. However, the main difference concerns Japanese culture which is very different and is reflected throughout the university.

Clément: I find that in France, universities are mainly a place to study and work whereas in Japan, they are also real “places to live”. For example, the Japanese are very committed to their university associations and
are very active with their favorite hobbies, sports etc.

What have you learned from this international experience?

Benjamin: We have learned a lot from the Japanese mindset that is so distinct, placing such an emphasis on mutual respect.

Ynouss: I agree, what I found most surprising (and impressive!) is their politeness and their incredible work ethic. Japan is a country with great cultural diversity and this makes it a very attractive destination. I would have liked to learn more about the Japanese language but ten weeks is too short for such a challenge…

Clément: Integrating into society and communicating with the Japanese was complicated at the beginning. Luckily, thanks to the good manners and the openness of the locals, these initial difficulties were quickly overcome. Japan is a beautiful country, with a culture that integrates a contradictory mixture of tradition and modernity. It is extremely different to France and I have really appreciated the “discovery experience” here.

Paul: To summarize, we have learnt from this experience that it is difficult to compare the Japanese education and upbringing to the Western way. It is a country we can learn from, where community interests are privileged and considered before individual interests.

Updated on 21/09/2021