It’s been almost six months since I started studying at the University of Tsukuba, and I'm actually homesick right now. I have to admit that I miss my family so much that sometimes I just feel like giving up studying in Japan. What encourages me most when I’m down is my research. I’m glad that I’ve found something that I can devote myself to. Doing my research always cheers me up.
I graduated from the Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies in Uzbekistan. Soon after graduation, I started working as a Japanese teacher. Early in my career, l found that I know nothing about people with disabilities and how to teach them.
As the University of Tsukuba has a well-developed education system for students with disabilities, I sent an email to a professor to express my hope that I would like to study at the university. Though the professor’s field of expertise was different from what I wanted to study, he was kind enough to reply and suggested that he introduce another professor whose research field would meet my demand. Since then, I’ve been having an image that professors at the University of Tsukuba have a warm personality.
I came to Japan in April. I was greeted at the station by a tutor from the University of Tsukuba. She has been taking care of me up until today. For example, she helped me to fill out paperwork for administrative procedures, showed me the way to the classroom, and accompanied me to buy a textbook. Moreover, she takes the time once a week to teach me what I don’t understand well.
Tanabata Festival in Tsukuba
Me feeding carp in a pond in Tsukuba
One day, she took me to a restaurant on campus. The restaurant offered a halal menu, and I received the impression that the university was thinking about international students.
Because the campus is so large, I easily get lost with my poor sense of direction. However, every time I got lost on campus, someone on campus gave a helping hand. Thanks to their kindness, I think I could get used to the life in Japan easily.
What I was worried about most before coming to Tsukuba was the residence hall. After arrival, I was relieved to see the Short Stay House of the Residence Hall, which is equipped with a renovated mini-kitchen, a shower room, and a lavatory. The Short Stay House is guarded 24 hours a day, and is only a fifteen-minute walk from the university.
Staff members of the residence hall were kind and listened to me when I was faced with a problem in the beginning of my life on campus. Even now, I first consult the staff members when I am in need of help.
At the university, I’m taking a class that deals with the subject of people with visual disabilities. I have gained knowledge through educational seminars and a Summer School held at the University of Tsukuba Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired.
In addition, I’m learning a lot in everyday life in Japan. For example, when I went to the Sumida River Fireworks Festival the other day, I was impressed to see there was an information corner that acts as a guide for people with disabilities. Though the master’s program is short and will be finished in two years, I’m sure the time I spent in Japan will make a good influence on my research.
A Summer Workshop on Education for Students with Visual Impairments and Psychological Research was held in July 2016. At the workshop, Associate Professor Tsuyoshi Sashima of the University of Tsukuba made a presentation under the theme of “Coaching for Children with Multiple Disabilities Tailored to Their Developmental Stage”.
The photos include educational tools designed for children with multiple disabilities. For children with visual impairment, pressing a small ball into a small hole with their fingertips is not easy.
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