Did you know that there is a university in Japan where you can study at the same level as you would in other countries? Beijing Language and Culture University Tokyo Campus, located in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, offers a common curriculum with its Beijing campus in China, and produces talented people with excellent language skills, Chinese culture, and economics.

What is it like to live at a Japanese campus of a foreign university? We spoke to graduate Hinata Kanno about her experiences as a student and her job hunting journey.

 

Beijing Language and Culture University Tokyo Campus Graduates

Hinata Kanno

He joined HIS Co., Ltd. as a new graduate in April 2024. During his time at university, he chose to major in Chinese and minor in Chinese, focusing on learning Chinese language and culture.

 

Can I get a Japanese university degree? Japanese branches of foreign universities

 Beijing Language and Culture University Tokyo Campus is a foreign university designated by the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. It brings the educational methods used at Beijing Language and Culture University Beijing Main Campus to Japan, providing global, practical learning.

 Mr. Kanno was attracted to the Beijing Language and Culture University Tokyo campus and decided to enroll. However, his parents had some concerns.

"I remember that my parents were worried about whether I would be able to obtain a Japanese university degree from Beijing Language and Culture University Tokyo Campus. After that, I attended a school information session, and once they found out that I would be able to receive a proper graduation qualification, they immediately agreed."

 At the Japanese campuses of foreign universities designated by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, students are eligible to enter Japanese graduate schools and can have their credits transferred to Japanese universities upon graduation. This means that students can obtain the same qualifications as graduates who have studied at Japanese universities.

 In addition, the Beijing Language and Culture University Tokyo Campus will receive a diploma and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Chinese Ministry of Education, which is equivalent to the Japanese Ministry of Education. The ability to obtain both a Japanese and a Chinese diploma is a major attraction for students and their parents.

Practical Chinese language education and a global environment

 Mr. Kanno originally studied bookkeeping at Yokohama Commercial High School with the aim of becoming a civil servant. However, he was also considering going to university, thinking, "If I could try my hand at my dream of working in the travel industry," and it was at this time that he became interested in studying Chinese.

"I had Chinese acquaintances, so China felt close to me. I had been exposed to a little bit of Chinese from a young age by self-study, but I wanted to study it seriously at university, so I became interested in Beijing Language and Culture University Tokyo. I also thought that if I wanted to pursue a career in the travel industry, which was my dream, I would need foreign language skills. Until high school, I didn't have much confidence in my foreign language or academic abilities, so I hoped that I could improve myself at university."

 At the Beijing Language and Culture University Tokyo campus, classes are taught by native Chinese teachers. When students first enroll, there are explanations in Japanese, but by the end of the first semester of the first year, teachers will be speaking mostly in Chinese. By setting aside plenty of time to listen to and speak Chinese, students can learn the language in a practical way.

"Classes were small, so I was able to have a deep relationship with the teachers. There was a lot of interaction during class, and it was easy to ask questions. We even celebrated the teacher's birthday together. Also, there were many Chinese teachers, so I was happy to be able to learn not only the language but also the culture."

 Many of the students are international students from various regions, including Asia and Europe. In the campus lounge, students can be seen chatting with each other regardless of their year or nationality.

"I think my communication skills have improved as I've been able to converse with people with different values. I've also learned that things that are common sense in Japan aren't common sense to foreigners. That's why I've learned to try not to impose Japanese common sense on others and to interact with them without any preconceived ideas."

 You can also study abroad in China and gain global experience. At the Beijing Language and Culture University Tokyo Campus, all applicants who meet the conditions can study abroad at the Beijing main campus. The duration varies from six months to two years. We respond flexibly to the students' wishes. Credits earned at the Beijing main campus are also recognized as credits at the Tokyo campus, so it is possible to graduate in four years.

 Kanno had hoped to study abroad from his second year, but had to give up due to the COVID-2 pandemic. Nevertheless, he took on the challenge of a short-term study abroad program for one and a half months starting in November of his fourth year.

*Normally, the minimum study abroad period is six months. However, as an exception, students who were unable to travel due to the impact of COVID-1 were allowed to study abroad for just one and a half months.

"A teacher from the Tokyo school accompanied me and helped me with the procedures for living in Beijing (doctrination, opening a bank account, signing a mobile phone contract, etc.), and I was also able to ask questions via online chat afterwards, which was very reassuring. The best thing about studying abroad was that I made so many friends. We still keep in touch, and I feel that it was a great encounter. What's more, I was able to communicate in Chinese, so it was definitely worth the study."

Deciding to take on the travel industry that he had given up on

 Ms. Kanno honed her language and global communication skills at the Beijing Language and Culture University Tokyo campus, and recalls that this experience had a major impact on her job hunting.

"I had always wanted to work in a travel agency since I was in high school. However, the travel industry is very popular, and I had the impression that it would be difficult unless you were enrolled in a famous university, so I gave up on the idea at first. But once I learned to speak Chinese, my desire to join a travel agency became stronger. Furthermore, my confidence grew as I gained more international contact, and I was able to decide to take on the challenge."

 What was particularly helpful in my job search was my Chinese language skills and my international experience.

"When I was job hunting, it was not uncommon to see students from Waseda, Keio, and Sophia, and it was also natural for them to be able to speak English. In that environment, being able to speak Chinese became one of my characteristics. China has a large population, so it's always better to be able to speak Chinese.
In the section "What I focused on as a student," I highlighted my experience of actively participating in global events within Japan. There was a time when I thought I wouldn't be able to study abroad during my university years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So I decided to use international exchange while staying in Japan to my advantage. For example, I participated in parties with students from my Japanese language school and supported Japanese language study groups in Chinese, and actively participated in international exchange events introduced to me by my university.

 He also said that the career-related classes he took in his third and fourth years at Beijing Language and Culture University, Tokyo Campus, were helpful.

"I was grateful that I received a lot of information about job hunting in the career classes. I also found it helpful to practice giving presentations in Japanese in teams with international students. It was difficult to create something given the different language levels and the limited time we had to prepare, but the sense of accomplishment was great. I'm sure this experience will be useful in the future. In fact, during new employee training after joining the company, we had the opportunity to give a group presentation, which helped build teamwork."

 Even after graduation, the experiences he gained at university are still useful in a variety of situations, both at work and in his personal life.

"Because I work in Shibuya, not a day goes by without meeting a Chinese person; China is still very close to me. I can help a Chinese person if they're in trouble, and I can communicate with my friends in Chinese. This kind of lifestyle is unthinkable for the person I was in high school.
Also, I like Taiwan and travel there often, so when I was able to speak Chinese there, I felt glad that I had studied it. I was able to go to places where English wasn't spoken, and I was able to order smoothly at restaurants. I realized that I had grown.

At work, my seniors use Chinese when serving customers and answering the phone, so I would like to be able to do that someday. There are still many areas where I lack knowledge, so my first goal is to work independently. I would like to become a professional who can use my strength of being able to speak Chinese to help customers."

 Finally, Mr. Kanno concluded by highlighting the appeal of Beijing Language and Culture University Tokyo Campus:

"If there are people who are wondering about entering this university, I would say, 'There's no need to hesitate!' You will be happy to be able to do things you couldn't do before, and the campus is very global, so you can have deep interactions with teachers and international students. I hope you won't be too worried and will definitely be interested."

 Beijing Language and Culture University Tokyo Campus meets the requirements for graduating from universities in both Japan and China, and allows students to gain Chinese language skills and global experience. Studying at university gives students confidence and broadens their career options. If you want to become a person who can play an active role both in Japan and around the world, why not consider this university as one of your options?

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