Seo Chae Hyeon
Graduated in March,2015
Home country: Korea
Currently a student at Ritsumeikan University
My objective to coming to Japan at the beginning was to master the Japanese language. But living abroad gradually changed my way of thinking and I did some rethinking about myself and my future. To achieve my dream, I decided to set my aims for higher education and foreign language both.Click to read
It is not an exaggeration to say that lessons at University Prep. Course at Naganuma are well known for being very demanding. Part tests and Unit tests that evaluate students’ performance did not allow us any breather and made our life-style focus solely on Japanese language study. For me who was bad at kanji, the daily kanji test and composition test maintained my sense of tension which was necessary to overcome hardships. Of course I am not saying that my school life meant just always having a hard time. But because of this rigorous system, I was successful in passing the entrance exam and enhancing my Japanese proficiency.
I took leave from my part-time job in November a month before the entrance exam. I knew it would be difficult without the pay but my priority was to pass the exam.
Ritsumeikan University was my first choice of college but it seemed very hard when looking at the result of the mock exams that I took every several weeks. But I felt it was meaningless for me to go to a university other than the first choice so I never gave up my hope.
I started to prepare for the TOEFL during the morning hours at school, arriving at 6:50 and studying from 7 to 9 o’clock before the class began. When I took the mock exam of Japanese language in parts of reading, listening and listening-reading comprehension, I made the effort to master them thoroughly in the review class. After the Japanese language classes in the morning, I concentrated studying the comprehensive subjects, mathematics and English at the exam prep. classes in the afternoon. Whenever there was something I could not understand, I went to the teacher after the class to ask questions. It was around 3 o’clock when all the classes and reviews were finished. After I took a simple supper, I started studying from 4 o’clock to 8 o’clock in the evening. I pushed myself to carry out what I planned to do in these four hours. For this, I had set up a 4-hour timetable, minute by minute, analyzing what was needed to be done and what could to be done in the remaining time until the exam day and I tried hard to carry out my plan, rigorously checking my watch.
From around 9 o’clock to 11 o’clock after I returned home, I prepared for the next day’s kanji test and did the homework. I made up my mind to go to bed at 11 so that I could get up at 5:30 the next day. This was the school life that I continued for a month till just before the exam day. These hours eventually made it possible for me to become a student at Ritsumeikan, an impossible aim to be achieved. I still keep the timetable. Perhaps it is because I do not want to forget how hard I strove to reach my goal.
Looking back, I see that I spent considerable time with my home class teacher during the preparation season for the university entrance exam. I ran to see my teacher every time I was sad or lost confidence over the lagging study performance contrary to all the effort I was making. Although I rewrote the personal statement to be submitted to the university over and over many times, my teacher read it carefully each time and devised ways to improve it, even when there were many students besides me seeking advice from her. Ms.Matsuyama – I thank you and I will never forget about you.