Interviews with UTokyo students from all over the world
Khine Lae Win
First-year Doctoral degree student, Department of Social Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine
From Myanmar. After working at Doctors without Borders and the Myanmar Ministry of Health, she received her Master's degree at UTokyo. Now, as a Doctoral degree student, she is working hard to research ways to alleviate health problems faced in her home country. On her days off, she enjoys relaxing in parks and in nature.
Q. Why did you come to Japan/UTokyo?
When I was working back in Myanmar, I had always wanted to get my Master's degree abroad. I received a scholarship from the Asian Development Bank, and I was given two choices for study abroad destinations: Australia or Japan. Australia was appealing to me since it's an English-speaking country, but I ultimately decided to go to UTokyo in Japan because of the emphasis the University places on research.
Q. What are you currently researching?
For my PhD, I am researching drug-related health issues (such as HIV and drug-related depression) as well as the effectiveness of initiatives undertaken in Myanmar to alleviate them. As I can go to Myanmar to interview local people for my fieldwork, I feel that I am given a great degree of freedom in my research. UTokyo provides a solid environment for research and has strong international networks, so it's an ideal place for communicating to the world the current issues affecting Myanmar.
Q. What have you found difficult in Japan/UTokyo?
It was difficult for me to use Japanese at first. Japanese grammar is actually similar to Burmese grammar, though! (laughs) I think that kanji are particularly hard to learn.
Q. What do you like about Japan/UTokyo?
The libraries at UTokyo have a large variety of materials, and it's great that these libraries let me easily access any articles I want to read. I also like that I can use the Internet here whenever I want to.
Q. Please tell us something about Myanmar!
I'm from Yangon, which is famous for the Shwedagon Pagoda. Not only tourists visit this well-known temple—locals also go to the temple to worship every weekend. According to legend, the temple was built 2500 years ago! As for food, I recommend trying mohinga, a noodle dish. By the way, we also set up a food stall selling Burmese food at UTokyo's annual May Festival.
* The content of this page was translated from the Ryuugakusei-san Irasshai! article printed in Gakunai Kouhou No. 1483. (Japanese language only)