My Tsukuba: The Life I Dreamed of
May 20, 2013 3:06 PM
After a long flight, I arrived in Tsukuba on October 3rd 2011. It took me more than 24 hours from Rio de Janeiro City, located on the other side of the world, to Tsukuba. Despite a great fatigue caused by such a long journey, my heart was filled with excitement and positive feelings. Finally, a dream I had dreamt for too long came true! Before leaving Brazil I searched about Tsukuba City and gathered many informations, but until that day I was very curious about how the city really looked like. In order to study in Japan, I applied for a research scholarship from Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, Culture and Sports (MEXT) of Japan on May 2010. I had to face fierce competition and a very strict selection process to pursue my dream. All the happiness came at once when I place my feet on Tsukuba for the first time. I was so glad, I was finally in Tsukuba!. On that day, when I breathed the fresh air of Tsukuba and saw in person the city's calm scenery, I was sure of how successful was my decision of coming to Tsukuba.
The reason why I came to Tsukuba is quite simple. I could study at the University of Tsukuba, receive guidance from a excellent professor, and lead a calm life, peacefully doing my research. Before coming to Japan, I had a busy, inconvenient daily life. Living far from work and university, I had to spent precious hours of my day on transportation. As a result, I could not relax and was constantly sick. However, in Tsukuba I could leave close to the university, a few minutes on foot from home to the office or the library. Besides that, I would be able to have a more healthy life, shopping or going to places by bycicle and eating fresh food produced in Ibaraki Prefecture. Another strong point of Tsukuba is its location in Kanto Area. If I ever had to travel or to visit a research center, attend a lecture at a university in Tokyo, I could easily arrive there from Tsukuba Station in an hour. In other words, in Tsukuba my dream of living a full life finally came true!
In order to come to Japan, I had to leave my family and friends behind. So, it is not hard to imagine that the first months were a bit lonely. I did not know in whom I should trust, nor how I could make friends. But, as time passed I met many different people and made precious friends. My encounters with Japanese and people from other nationalities put me in touch with other cultures, teaching me a lot about the world. In other words, while showing each other's personalities in an environment where we all respect each other, in Tsukuba I could learn many things and matured not only as researcher, but specially as a human being. In fact, I guess I have to thank all people I have met until now!
I took part in many activies since I arrived in Tsukuba. Probably the most impressive was a visit to an elementary school where I was supposed to make a presentation about Brazil. Children listened carefully to what I had to say and earnestly made many interesting questions. After my speech was over and there was nothing left to be asked, I played with the students and until now I have the origami they gave me. I was sincerely touched by the way teachers and students welcomed me, their sincerity and kindness during an afternoon together. Also, I am moved by the way shop assistants and taxi drivers work hard to communicate with foreigners who cannot read nor speak Japanese. The kind heart of Tsukuba residents is really amazing!
Tsukuba is just as I imagined, as I wanted: eco-friendly, convenient and quite. Tsukuba is the perfect place for researchers that want to carry their studies peacefully, alone or with their families. The inspiration I receive from the city's beautiful landscape brings me hope to a brighter and better future. I love Tsukuba!
International Exchange Coordinator