Prospective Students

A one-year study in Japan: From University of Zurich

As an exchange student from University of Zurich, Olivia Ritter is now experiencing her one-year study at Tokyo Tech.

At the Laboratory Olivia Ritter
At the Laboratory

Olivia Ritter
September 2013 to August 2014
Japanese Studies
Department of Human System Science (Nohara Laboratory)
Affiliation in Switzerland:
The Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, University of Zurich

Why did you decide to come to Japan for study abroad?

I have been interested in Japan for a long time. At first I was attracted to Japanese anime, and from there my interest in Japanese culture gradually increased. Since first entering university I wanted to go to Japan as an exchange student, and after a few sightseeing trips to Japan, my desire became even stronger to study here.

Why did you select Tokyo Tech?

My professor at the University of Zurich recommended me to come to Tokyo Tech first. I searched and then found Professor Nohara's Lab, and the research there was exactly what I was looking for. I contacted Professor Nohara and she agreed to be my academic advisor and I officially applied.

How did your life in Japan start?

Before this one year program I had managed to visit Japan a few times and had enough information beforehand, so I was prepared for my life in Tokyo. And fortunately I also live in a dormitory with lots of other students from overseas which helps me with my daily life.

What kind of classes do you attend at Tokyo Tech?

My main classes are Japanese Language classes, but I also take a class of comparative study on modern Japanese culture from various perspectives, particularly focusing on the influence of Western culture. This class is held in English.

During my free time between and after classes, I spend most of the time at my lab and study Japanese.

How is your daily life in Japan

There are students from many different countries at the dormitory. Each student has a single room but there are enough opportunities to communicate with each other and I so don't feel lonely at all!

And recently I joined a seminar tour to Izu with the lab members and that was a great experience. I can communicate with the other lab members both in English and Japanese and I feed supported and comfortable here.

What is your future plan?

Right now I am concentrating on approving my Japanese, and studying for the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test.

After my one-year exchange program, 2 more years of study at Zurich University will be waiting. After graduation, I hope I can find a career utilizing my Japanese ability.

(Interview held in January, 2014)

Seminar tour (Experiencing archery with Nohara Lab members)

Seminar tour (Experiencing archery with Nohara Lab members)


Public Relations Division, Tokyo Institute of Technology