I am grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the 2021 Tokyo Tech-AYSEAS (Asia Young Scientist and Engineer Advanced Study Program) this year. The first to be held online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In the orientation session, the head of Tokyo Tech-AYSEAS, Prof. Motomu Nakashima, Ph.D., said that the ultimate goal of this program is to train “global leaders” in the future. “Global Leaders” means world-famous scientists, the president of an international company, and so on. The main activities of the course are (1) lectures by previous AYSEAS alumni (2) virtual company visits, which include Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Kopernik, and Hitachi, Ltd. (3) Discussion and presentation on solving global problems by starting a business or NGO.
There are 36 participants from five countries (Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) with different educational backgrounds, bringing many perspectives to the program. During the focus group discussions, I tried to bring a biotechnology perspective according to my background. My colleagues also bring a different perspective, such as an economic or technological perspective.
Having experienced four internships/exchanges during my master’s, I can say this program is unparalleled. It wasn’t just an opportunity to work on soft skills like teamwork and communication; it was a place where different cultures and ideas came together. Getting to know friends from different backgrounds helped me see things in a more global way.
Thank you, Tokyo Tech-Aseas and the Office of International Affairs (OIA UGM), for the opportunity and the well-organized program.