Japanese Students Spoke about Russia
Mutual interests unite SPbPU not only with leading Japanese corporations but universities as well. Thus, in a number of areas, Polytechnic University cooperates with Meiji University. In particular, this interaction concerns student exchanges. During his visit to Tokyo in April 2018, the Rector of SPbPU, Academician of RAS A.I. RUDSKOI presented the Rector of the Meiji University Keiichiro Tsuchii with certificates for Japanese students’ studies at the International Polytechnic Summer School, which this year proved to be very popular among students from the Land of the Rising Sun. Yutaro HARA and Sonoko ITO came from Meiji University to study modern SAP technologies and special features of business and entrepreneurship; Hiromi TANABE from Ritsumeikan University also chose the entrepreneurship module; a number of other students got to study the Russian language, culture, Smart Cities and management.
Yutaro HARA and Hiromi TANABE completed their studies in the business module at the end of September and shared their impressions with SPbPU international services after the end of the Summer School. Their interview is about what surprised Japanese students in Russia, their project work, and culinary experiments.
- Yutaro, Hiromi, why did you decide to come to Russia?
Yutaro: I owe this fascinating opportunity to my university: I was lucky to get a certificate for studying at the International Polytechnic Summer School. In the future, I am planning to work as a data analysis specialist, and I consider the options of working abroad. It was extremely interesting for me to know how to run business in Russia.
Hiromi: This is not my first time in Russia, and I knew exactly what kind of summer school I needed. I wanted to take a month-long course in business in St. Petersburg, and the International Polytechnic Summer School had perfectly met my criteria.
- Was there anything that surprised you in Russia?
Yutaro: This is my first time in St. Petersburg, and I am absolutely impressed and charmed with your city. The metro here lies very deep. I was surprised that there was no schedule for the trains and that they ran with high frequency.
Hiromi: I was impressed with honesty and kindness of people. Earlier, I have got this stereotype that Russian citizens are strict, serious, and hardly ever smile. But this proved to be absolutely wrong! A day before our interview, I went to the Museum of Shadows but failed to find the entrance. An ordinary lady in the street called the museum and after that escorted me right to the doors, and this was extremely nice of her; I was impressed with her kindness.
- What do you think about Polytechnic University? Which of the courses stack to you memory the most?
Yutaro: I enjoyed absolutely everything. I would like to single out the project work and the final presentation. We studied a business model at the example of a restaurant, and we worked in groups with students from various countries. Our goal was to come up with an analysis of particular products of the restaurant, ice-cream and espresso, and suggest options how we can increase profits and expand the audience using them.
Hiromi: I agree that the final presentation on the results of the joint project was one of the most interesting events of the module. I was in the group with guys from Germany, China, and Iran. We were to analyze such products as pizza and home-made lemonade. On the one hand, that was fun, but on the other, we got to understand many principles of entrepreneurship.
- Was it easy for you to find common language with students from other countries?
Yutaro: Yes, we have got a lot of new friends. We all communicated in English, and thanks to that, we could understand each other very well. Sometimes it happened that we could not come to a joint decision, but one should always be ready to such variants: this was a very good experience of working internationally.
Hiromi: We had been very well communicating with each other. Of course, a certain difference of cultures could be felt: for example, punctuality is extremely important for the Japanese, while some people interpret time frames a lot more liberally. However, altogether, we had a great time and have learned a lot.
- And what about the cultural program? By the way, what do you think about the Russian cuisine?
Yutaro: Of course we have visited the main attractions of St. Petersburg: the Hermitage, Cathedral on Spilled Blood, Peterhof. We have been to many restaurants and bars. You would not believe me, but I was most impressed with a roll of lavash: I have already learned that here, in St. Petersburg, it is called shaverma. This is unbelievably delicious!
Hiromi: I have a whole list of places to visit. For example, I am going to the Museum of Water shortly. As far as the food is concerned, I got introduced to the Russian cuisine in the course of my previous visit. This time, I decided to take a few experiments. It was fun! We went to a sushi restaurant with my friends, and I ordered a sushi roll. It was absolutely unlike the sushi in Japan but I liked it!
- Yutaro, Hiromi, thank you very much for the interesting interview! We wish you success in your educational and creative activities!