I2019, the Nagaoka University of Technology (NUT) and the Romanian-American University (RAU) set up the first Romania-NUT office jointly to support global research-education collaborations and global industry-academia collaborations. Michelle interviews Yuki Kokai, the first student from the Nagaoka University of Technology to be sent on a student exchange program to the Romanian-American University in Bucharest, Romania.

M: How long have you been in Romania?

Y: I arrived in Bucharest in September of 2019, and it’s been about 3 months since I came here. I’ll be here for a total of 5 months.

M: Why did you choose to study in Romania?

Y: Two reasons. First, because I wanted to experience a combination of technology and business. Second, I didn’t know much about Romania and neither do the people around me. So, I was naturally curious about the country and that’s why I chose to come here!

M: So, what are you studying at RAU?

Y: Currently I am studying English, Business Intelligence and European Integration.

M: What did you like most about being in Romania?

Y: I’d say, I enjoy communicating with people. I’m glad that I could connect with so many people by speaking in English. It makes me excited and happy.

M: What were the interesting experiences you had in Romania?

Y: In Japan, students just listen to their teacher talking. It’s a one-way conversation. But in Romania, many students will join in the conversation. Even during the lesson, students would ask questions and engage with the teachers in a discussion. There is no hesitation in expressing their thoughts. They have their own opinion and they share it, and they listen to others’ ideas. After that, they re-formulate their thoughts. I think it’s really cool.

Another big point is the culture. It’s very different from Japan. One thing I noticed was that the behavior and attitude of working people here is different. Japanese people are too serious.

M: What else do you think is good?

Y: People in Romania are very friendly. They also react positively to new things and challenges. I like that very much.

Yuki Kokai at Sinaia Cota 2000 in October 2019

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Michelle Lim

Michelle Lim

Creative Consultant, JCE Japan Creative Enterprise