Y.Z. (ICC Student Staff Leader)

Hi! This is Y.Z., a new Student Staff Leader (SSL) at ICC from Xian, a historic city in China. I came to Japan as an international student in April 2019.

Here’s the photo I took from the plane at that time. I was so looking forward to the life here.  

(photo by author)

Since I studied pretty hard, I got accepted to the School of Culture, Media and Society (CMS) at Waseda University in the same year. I was going to be a college student in April 2020. It seemed like my exciting university life would start then. I was super excited. But unfortunately, Covid blanketed the world. The situation was extremely serious. Even the entrance ceremony was delayed for a year. 

Entrance Ceremony at Waseda University, April 2021 (photo by author) 

Also, all the colleges in Japan had to change all their courses to online. I mean, ALL THE COURSES were online when I was a freshman. Such a painful thing! Since communicating with people and making friends is a necessity to me, I can’t stand being alone all the time. So, I searched for events and to interact more with the outside world. It was that time when I found ICC, and participated in its events from time to time. 

(photo by author)

The reason that I was attracted to ICC is that I can talk with many international students like me in Waseda University. There are lots of language activities. I can practice different languages, like Japanese or English, and in the meantime, I can also make friends. I’ve talked to Japanese and students from other countries. Sometimes, I can meet Chinese students in the events as well. And there are lots of interesting events, such as events about fashion, geography, earth’s environment and so on.

ICC’s events fulfilled my life a lot when I was a freshman, especially in this unusual period of time. I mean, I think it’s pretty important for both international students and Japanese students to have a place like ICC in university, where we can interact with different cultures and practice our foreign language skills. 

When I joined the events here, all the staff were so nice and kind. I gained lots of information from them. They talked about their studying life, hobbies, experiences working in ICC and so on with participants. We had such nice conversations. At that point, I really wanted to know how it would feel to be a student staff leader. Then, I applied for the position of student staff leader in ICC, and I passed, so now I’m a SSL at ICC.

(photo by author)

At first, when I joined ICC’s events as staff, I made lots of mistakes, specifically, many small mistakes. Like in the online event, I didn’t share the PowerPoint smoothly or failed to get screenshot photos of everyone. Those things are all simple and I never thought I would make mistakes on them. I feel I still have a lot to learn here, because in order to make sure an event goes well, there are so many things to consider besides those basic things I mentioned. For example, coming up with good and appropriate ideas, communicating with the guest speaker, adding specific activities, thinking about possible risks, cooperating with other SSL and full-time staff, and how to do PR, like designing posters, SNS posting, much more than I thought. Therefore, I am going to continue learning here. I hope I am able to plan an interesting and attractive event someday in the future as well.

Now I’m a sophomore, and I’m still worried about my future, like all college students: the job I’m going to do after graduation, where I’m going to live, relationships with others. But at least I found something to do at Waseda University that I can spare no effort on. That’s my story with ICC so far. I still feel that I was blessed to find ICC when I was a freshman, and very happy to be a staff member here now. I’m certain that the experience here will be memorable.