Student Profile 3

A Program Smoothly Integrating Learning
Knowledge and Skills Overseas and in Japan

An interview with Shingo Eto, 4th Year Student in the Faculty of Economics

4th Year Student in the Faculty of Economics Shingo Eto

Both professors and students actively communicating with each other – that was the impression that struck me when I attended classes alongside local students in North America. Students immediately ask questions if they do not understand something. Based on those questions, professors often expand the issues and a class discussion develops. The majority of the classes are relatively small in size, consisting of about 40 students per class. It was a valuable experience for me to learn in the same environment as the local students.

Getting the Knack of Reading Skills:
Reading Through More Than 30 Academic Articles in English

Taking advantage of the exchange program available at Hitotsubashi University, I went to study abroad at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, for eight months starting from August in my third year. The classes I took there were quite broad in range, including such subjects as Development Economics, International Trade, Chinese Language, and so on.

The class that I put the most effort into was Development Economics, the subject in which I was most interested. First of all, I was surprised at the fact that we were not assigned a textbook. All of the students were required to critically read some articles as assigned readings before class, and then in class discuss the contents or listen to an explanation given by the professor. It was my first time reading articles critically in English. Listening to the class was challenging enough by itself; dealing with academic articles in English until late in the night every day was more than I had imagined. Perhaps this was the time I had studied the most since entering university! (smile).

The number of articles related to Development Economics that I read during my time studying abroad ended up numbering somewhere between thirty and forty. What I came to realize was how much students overseas are required to demonstrate a high level of logic when they write their papers. Superficial information easily found on websites is never acceptable. Their arguments have to be backed up by solid data based on accurate numbers. Reading more than thirty academic articles in English was an excellent opportunity for me to learn how to read analytically, and how to write a good paper. Such an experience would not have been possible if I had just stayed in Japan.

One of the libraries at the University of British Columbia, where I always studied until late in the night.

One of the libraries at the University of British Columbia, where I always studied until late in the night.


I made friends with international students from Korea and China as well, and was strongly inspired by their ambition to rise in the world. I found their attitude of positively stating “I will definitely succeed!” very impressive. Moreover, I had opportunities to discuss differences about territorial issues and historical understanding neutrally with my Korean friends. I believe that such discussions helped us to understand each other’s countries from different perspectives.

Beyond the Language Barrier:
Getting Access to Broader Information Sources

I returned to Japan in May just after the start of my fourth year. Presently, I am focusing on a group project in my seminar. The theme is, “The Influence of Trade on Economic Growth.” In this project, we seek a standard that can reveal numerically to what degree trade promotes economic growth in each country, not just monetary profit. The experience I gained during my time studying abroad is very effective in carrying out this work. Since most of the previous scholarship is written in English, it is a great advantage for me to be able to access a broad range of information sources without worrying about the language barrier. At its completion this project requires a joint presentation with a university in Korea, so I will try to make a presentation in English as well.

For Those Who Come After Me:
Conveying the Attraction of Studying Abroad

I plan to start job hunting next year, when I will be a fourth year for the second time. The study abroad program at Hitotsubashi University provides support for tuition fees during the study abroad period, so we can study at university for five years with the tuition fees for just four years. Tuition fees at overseas universities are normally quite expensive, so Hitotsubashi’s study abroad program has a great advantage in terms of cost as well.

In the future, I would like to work in a job that requires forming a team with overseas partners. Concretely speaking, I am interested in jobs at energy-related enterprises and trading companies. In relation to my job hunt, the other day I participated in an internship at a foreign-affiliated manufacturer. Furthermore, I am going to do my best to convey the attraction of studying abroad for those who come after me, through meetings of HEPSA (Hitotsubashi Exchange Program Students’ Association).

Participating in a sports event at the university. Many students are from Asia.

Participating in a sports event at the university. Many students are from Asia.