Robb J.Y. Lee We are taking photos at the beach for a group activity with study abroad students
Name Robb J.Y. Lee
Country USA
Year / month of graduation March 2019
Degree obtained Master’s Degree

Position / organization
as of March 2021

English Language Teacher; A Public International JHS/SHS in Hiroshima

This article was written in March 2021.

Why did you choose Japan, and Hiroshima university for your study?

After finishing my undergraduate degree in the United States, I wanted to gain experience living and working abroad in a foreign country soon after finishing my undergraduate degree in the US. I chose to study at Hiroshima University’s (Graduate school of IDEC) because the program allowed me to study in English and also that I could connect with Japanese students, professors and that I could also network with many foreign students from countries all over the world.  It was an amazing opportunity for me to connect what I do professionally as an English teacher, with amazing people who are linguistically and culturally diverse.

What did you learn and study at Hiroshima university?

In my studies at Hiroshima University, my area of study was in Educational Development, and my thesis focused on short-term study abroad and its relationship to transformational learning on subjects in university who had little or no experience traveling or living abroad.  With the help of the Hiroshima University international study abroad programs department, IDEC staff and especially my advisor, Professor Ayami Nakaya, I was able to conduct field research on my subjects during a short-term study abroad experience to Indonesia.  It was amazing to see and experience the process of transformational learning during study abroad through the eyes of the participants. 

Students are deciding their roles for a volunteer activity. Students are deciding their roles for a volunteer activity.

Without the advice, hard work and constant support of my professor and staff at Hiroshima University, I would not have been as successful as I was completing my Master’s thesis and degree.

Did you enjoy your stay in Hiroshima?

In all honesty, I have been living in Hiroshima for several years, and I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate and enjoy living and working in this wonderful area of Japan.  The weather is fairly stable compared to very cold or very hot parts of Japan, and the food is very delicious, especially the oysters, okonomiyaki, and many types of ramen noodles. I could say a lot more about the delicious food here in Hiroshima, but I would run out of space in writing this article.  As for my best experience while living in Hiroshima, I would have to say that there is always something memorable and unforgettable every year that I live here, so I don’t really have just one memorable experience.  However, I can just say how thankful and grateful I am to constantly be able to meet many amazing and inspiring people around me.  Maybe that is the best part of living in a foreign country and an amazing place like Hiroshima.

Please tell us your current work. Does what you learned or studied at Hiroshima university help you?

First established in the Spring of 2019, I currently work at a new and innovative junior and senior high school in Hiroshima prefecture. My experience studying with many international students at Hiroshima University has proven to be very valuable in my current work, because I can leverage what I have learned about the value and importance of logical debate, local curriculum development in schools, human resource development for education in different parts of the world, and current trends and challenges for the development of higher education in university and college.  In addition to the valuable knowledge learned at Hiroshima University’s graduate school of International Development and Cooperation (or IDEC), I have made many friendships and connections with people from Southeast Asia, Africa, East Asia, the Middle East and from Europe.  With the help and support of my international friends and colleagues, I have been able to connect my current students to not only different parts of the world, but to also connect with new and innovative ways of communicating and thinking.

Do you recommend Hiroshima university for others to choose?

If you are looking to expand your knowledge in a certain field, or if you are looking to meet many innovative people from different parts of the world, then studying at Hiroshima University is a great place to be.  The campus and surrounding environment are very clean and safe, and the people of Higashi-Hiroshima are very welcoming and friendly.  Hiroshima university is very supportive of international students and their efforts to study or to do research here in Japan.  It is always challenging to live and study in a foreign country but studying in Japan and especially in Hiroshima can be, for lack of better words…positively transformational.  Mahalo and thank you very much.