Tokyo Tech inaugurated the Global Scientists and Engineers Program (GSEP) in April 2016 in parallel with the renewal of the Institute's education system. GSEP is Tokyo Tech's first international Bachelor of Engineering degree program conducted fully in English. This program provides outstanding students from overseas with the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the high-quality education and laboratory-based research that Tokyo Tech is known for.
Rapid industrial globalization has brought with it the opening of national borders, leading to increased mobility of both products and people. A similar borderlessness is very much present in today's academia. Solutions to global-scale issues and creation of new value require maximum utilization of integrated knowledge from multiple disciplines. Society needs talent who are ready to develop and capitalize on expertise in a variety of fields. GSEP provides this transdisciplinary knowledge, setting a solid foundation for students to become the world's next business innovators and advance further in the scientific world.
GSEP courses are offered by faculty members from the Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering at the School of Environment and Society. Their expertise covers chemical, mechanical, and electrical engineering, materials, information and communication, civil engineering and architecture, biology, Earth sciences, environment and energy, space studies, nuclear engineering, management, design, international relationships, economics and society, and languages. After gaining fundamental knowledge in a wide range of science and technology fields, GSEP students join the laboratories that best match their interests and engage in cutting-edge research activities.
All GSEP courses are conducted in English, and proficiency in the Japanese language is not required for admission or graduation. Still, lectures on specialized terminology in Japanese and local culture and language in general are provided to ensure that all students get the most out of their experience at Tokyo Tech and in Japan. Classes follow a project-based learning format, creating an open multicultural environment that is ideal for exchanging ideas and solving real-world problems.
The inaugural cohort of 14 international students from four countries joined GSEP in April 2016. They spoke about their initial impressions regarding the program and their new life at Tokyo Tech.
I think the GSEP program is a groundbreaking initiative. Since I started studying here, I have learned various subjects in addition to science and engineering. I have learned to think and explore through people and society, along with my international friends. I have gained many useful experiences from both Tokyo Tech and my recent lifestyle in Japan. This program inspires me to think about my future and what I can contribute to it. I hope to gain in-depth knowledge throughout the four-year curriculum, and apply it in my future career to create a movement in science and technology. For students who want to join GSEP, this course provides knowledge from various fields of study, allowing you to see the bigger picture of engineering, and increased individual engineering knowledge, which you can apply together.
GSEP has been a turning point in my life. It provides me plenty of opportunities to enhance my capabilities — experiencing new culture, honing my language skills, and gaining life experiences. It has made me realize the importance of active learning and time management. Although adapting to a new environment can sometimes be tiring, I am very happy whenever I learn new things from this program. If you are someone who would like to see the world and want to open a new page in your life, join us! Grab the opportunity, for they don't come often.
GSEP is a great opportunity for people who want to try something new. You won't only study to be an ordinary engineer, but to be something bigger. If you have a bigger dream, I think this is the right path to find your goal and achieve it!
'Getting out of the box' is the phrase that best represents my experiences as a GSEP student. I have learned not only basic science, but visions and ideas which are tools for me to learn even more in the future. The environment here is super-inspiring! I am having fun living my everyday life in a new style. The people and content of the classes are great. Extracurricular activities are also fruitful. I have grown up and developed lots of good relationships while living abroad by myself. Moreover, the faculty members are very kind and supportive. Finally, for those who like to contribute to both the academic world and the society — and perhaps, like me, love to learn everything and believe that all knowledge has applications — this program is an excellent choice.
GSEP is a newly opened program in English made up of a small group of students. This group is together most of the time so we have quickly developed good relationships with one another. Furthermore, the class includes some Japanese students so I can make friends with them despite the slight struggle due to the language barrier. However, it is a good way to find someone to talk Japanese to. Ganbatteru. That means "I am doing my best." I absorb unique thoughts and ideas from everyone. In addition to science and technology fields, there are plenty of interesting courses such as sociology and the Tokyo Tech Visionary Project. For those who love Japan, technology, and new things in general, we are looking forward to welcoming you.
Almost three months have passed since I became one of the first students of GSEP. Besides the academic quality and opportunity to develop not only as an engineer but as a person, the most precious thing I found in this program are the people. It is always nice to know that there are teachers, classmates of different nationalities, and other peers who are ready to help and encourage you whether you fail or succeed. With these people, even though I'm studying abroad far from my family, I don't feel lonely or frustrated. This is where I can explore and develop myself without any fear of failure and with sincere support from my great Tokyo Tech family.
Studying at Tokyo Tech, a top Japanese university for science and technology, was the biggest decision in my life. It has been only two months since I joined GSEP but I am learning a lot and having so much fun. I made many friends who came to Japan from all over the world. They are all open-minded and unique students, and I learn something new from every group work and discussion session. Furthermore, the teachers and professors are very kind and outstanding. They know how to attract students and help us willingly in every single problem. Being a member of this wonderful Tokyo Tech family, I feel like I am improving and getting closer to my dream.
GSEP is an opportunity you don't want to miss. Aside from receiving a qualified education in science and technology, one can immerse oneself and learn from a highly ethical society and unique culture. Thanks to great scholarship opportunities from MEXT and the GSEP teachers who are always there for you, it just feels like home here and the feeling of safety enables you to focus on the most important goal — studying. For students who are planning to join, I would advise you to start learning basic Japanese before you come here. It makes it a lot easier to get accustomed to Japan and you don't have to worry about your Japanese grades. I am sure the years spent in Tokyo Tech will be full of accomplishments and adventure.
My life as a GSEP student is going great. There are no words that can accurately express my feelings about the GSEP program. I am happy about joining this program because it has greatly affected me in a positive way. I think it has made me a better person, and I have acknowledged many things that I did not even know existed before I joined.
I think choosing GSEP and studying abroad is one of the best decisions I've made in my entire life. Not only can it make me grow as a person, it can also broaden my view of my own capacity, our world's capacity, and I can make friends from different countries. How's life in the program? Fantastic! At first, I felt a bit homesick, but perhaps everyone did. Once you successfully enter the program and get through the homesickness, life is exciting! All in all, I highly recommend you to join!
Life as a GSEP student has definitely been very rewarding. It has opened my eyes to current global issues and how we can contribute to the progression of society. Being an international student and managing to survive in Tokyo with so many differences compared to my hometown has without doubt changed my life and opened up my mind a great deal. What I have found as a GSEP student is that I am always surrounded by supportive and motivating people — my lecturers, seniors, and colleagues — which makes both studying and living my daily life even more fulfilling. I would definitely recommend GSEP to anyone who has a strong will to help play a part in our changing world through science and engineering, but also to people who are willing to seek lifetime experiences and adventures at Tokyo Tech.
Even though all lectures in the GSEP program are held in English and aimed at us international students who have little Japanese proficiency, we are not isolated from the Japanese students as some want to test their limits by joining lectures in English. The GSEP program took me out of my comfort zone, exposed me to subjects that I did not expect to study such as liberal arts and sociology, and thus, gave me the chance to grow. I would like to express my gratitude to the GSEP professors in particular and Tokyo Tech faculty members in general for their wholehearted support.
Tokyo Tech took the initiative in offering degree programs for international students in Japan, launching its International Graduate Programs (IGP) for master's and doctoral students in 2007. Graduates of these programs have been very active in various fields worldwide. GSEP was created to provide capable and confident individuals access to the full Tokyo Tech experience, giving them a head start in making a positive impact on tomorrow's society.
Published: July 2016