International Students, Irasshai! (Miarisoa Razafindrabe)
August 23, 2017
Interviews with UTokyo students from all over the world
Second-year Master's degree student, Department of Global Agricultural Sciences, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences
From Madagascar. She came to UTokyo to conduct research related to fish farming. Mia is used to living the slow life, so life in fast-paced Tokyo has been one surprise after another for her. She enjoys hanging out with friends on the weekends and watching movies at home. By the way, she wore a Japanese hakama to UTokyo's Commencement Ceremony!
Q. Why did you come to Japan/UTokyo?
I just happened to end up here! (laughs) Back in Madagascar when I was working with JICA (the Japan International Cooperation Agency), a Japanese staff member recommended that I study abroad in Japan. When I came to Yokohama one time for JICA-related training, another staff member told me about a professor at UTokyo who specialized in aquaculture, and took me directly to campus to meet him. After talking with him and applying for admission, I came to UTokyo on a MEXT scholarship.
Q. What are you currently researching?
I am looking into the differences in involvement and motivation for men and women in Madagascar's fish farming industry. Through my research, I discovered that there is a difference in what motivates men and women to pursue fish farming. Men tend to place more value on the income earned from fish farming, while women, although interested in the process of fish farming, are more motivated by the relaxation that they get from watching the fish than the income received from it. Using my findings, I want to come up with ways to make it easier for women to get more involved in fish farming.
Q. What have you found difficult in Japan/UTokyo?
I was shocked by how crowded Tokyo is, especially during rush hour. Also, I didn't have a smartphone or any maps at first, so I had a difficult time trying to get to where I wanted to go.
Q. What do you like about Japan/UTokyo?
In Madagascar, I didn't have many opportunities to interact with people from overseas, so it's fresh and exciting for me to be able to talk with people from all sorts of countries here in Japan. At UTokyo, I like how I can learn about all kinds of things, and the fact that I have a stable research budget that allows me to conduct fieldwork. As for Japan, I like how safe Japan is, and I love Japanese food. Except for natto...
Q. Please tell us something about Madagascar!
When Japanese people think of Madagascar, they tend to imagine only plants and animals, but I believe that the people of Madagascar are the most wonderful aspect of my country. In particular, the children in rural areas are innocent and adorable. This picture is from last summer, when I went to a local village to do fieldwork. Even though they don't live in fancy houses or have the latest modern conveniences, the children are leading very happy lives.
* The content of this page was translated from the Ryuugakusei-san Irasshai! article printed in Gakunai Kouhou No. 1494. (Japanese language only)