Q:What made you come to Japan in the first place?
A:I had been working as a dentist in China when I got chance to attend a lecture given by professors of Fukuoka Dental College. The operation cases I encountered there was so unique that I instantly got interested in them. I asked questions to the professor Matsuura who at the time was giving a lecture in China, and from there we stayed in touch by email. I had been wanting to live in Japan, and that helped me make my mind up.
My hometown is Tianjin, China. Although Japan is our neighbor country, I did not know Fukuoka at all. I had no idea what would be waiting for me here.
Q:How old were you when you first came to Fukuoka?
A:I was 37. I had visited Tokyo and Osaka for sightseeing before, but I really had no idea about Fukuoka at the time.
Q:Did your impression of Fukuoka change in any way after you had lived here for sometimes?
A:Yes. I thought Fukuoka would be a quiet country side, but the truth is the opposite. It is a fair sized city. The good thing about Fukuoka is that time goes not so hasty here while Tokyo can be really busy. It also is clean and comfortable to live in.
Q:What is your impression on Fukuoka Dental College?
A:Well, all the teaching staffs are so kind. They are kind to me and to all the other students. Also, I was quite impressed by how politely they treat patients.
There are not many foreign students here at Fukuoka Dental College yet. I hope more people will get to know FDC as an option to step up with their study.
Q:By the way, how did you study Japanese?
A:I mostly self-taught it. For the first 3 years, I took lessons twice a week, about 3 to 4 hours in total. Being a Chinese, reading Japanese was not so hard for me, but I found listening and speaking really difficult, especially when it comes to using particles. I still struggle with them.
Q:During the course of your study at Fukuoka Dental College, when do you think Japanese skills are needed the most?
A:It has to be at clinics. No doubt about that. You will need to speak well when presenting your research too.
Q:What do you think would be the hardest thing to deal with while living in Japan as a foreign student?
A:Well, there are quite a few, but the language probably is the toughest of all. For instance, not knowing the terminology at clinics can be fatal. Even if you know what you are looking at in another language, you cannot do much without verbal communication especially when you are facing patients. Also, Japanese food culture requires some time to get used to. I love Japanese food now, but honestly, I had some difficulty at the beginning.
Q:What do you think are the merits of studying in Japan?
A:My impression of Japanese students is that they are really keen, diligent and hard working. They often stay late to work on their research. The facility and equipment for research are new and advanced. You will surely be inspired by these circumstances here.
Q:What are your plans after finishing the course here?
A:I have not decided on what to do right now. I want to continue studying in Japan while I can, and I want to contribute it back to China. There are more conferences here that I do not want to miss.
Q:What advice can you give to those looking to follow in your footsteps?
A:Come and see it for yourself. That is the best and only way to truly appreciate the opportunity. If you are serious about it, try to stay as long as you can. The longer you interact with Japan, the more you learn. It is not easy to live in a foreign country with a different language and culture, but the outcome is astounding.
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