What Did I Get through Nitobe School Program?

To this question, I could say in the following way. I got to know about the importance of “teamwork” and “project-based learning.”

When I watched a promotional video of Nitobe School at the entrance ceremony of my graduate school, I was really moved to participate in this program. This was because I really agreed with the needs that we had to tackle with the problems not only in their own fields, but also interdisciplinary fields with various specialists even now and also in the future. Nationalities, races, religions, etc., don’t matter. I thought that in this program I could practice a lot of things in a microcosm of international society, because students from every faculty and every country can participate in it. That is why I took all the four courses together with supporting English courses.

In my laboratory, I usually work by myself such as reading papers, implementing systems, and plus discussing face-to-face with supervisors. I had few chances to do teamwork there. At Nitobe School, surprisingly, before doing teamwork we learned a definition of “teamwork” in Start-up Course. If we think about the definition from the difference between “team” and “group,” we can understand it much easier. This point of view was a new discovery for me.

Through the teamwork in Global Issue Course and Problem-solving Course, I learned how to facilitate our discussions and how to state our own opinions rather than the contents. It was more difficult than I had expected. The first biggest problem was about language, and the second one was on different backgrounds. However, through the courses, I felt it gradually easier to do teamwork. Still more I was able to learn the way to do from some fellows’ talks or discussions. I can state opinions more steadily in the discussion and write better in English than before.

About the contents, the last course of problem-finding was really good to me. We often experience problem-solving, but not problem-finding. It took too much time to grasp the notion of problem-finding because we were not so familiar with this way of thinking, but we managed to do it properly. We learned the importance of formalizing problems through the verification of a hypothesis.

I believe to make use of what I learned at Nitobe School in my future career. It may be a little bit difficult for prospective students who are thinking to take part in this program, because you have to take more classes than usual or you might be unfamiliar to the style of active learning, but you will definitely be able to get more confidence and abilities than you expect. Just do it!

Seiya Shudo
Master Course Student, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology