My name is Sirin Suppharangkoon. I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand until I got a chance to study in Japan as I was lucky enough to be granted a Monbusho scholarship from MEXT. Soon after I set my feet in Japan, I was able to build up my Japanese language skill for a full year at Osaka University of Foreign Studies, which was later consolidated with Osaka University and became School of Foreign Studies in 2007. Here, I was well prepared not only with required language proficiency, but also with knowledge in Japanese culture and society.
The time came when I had to make am important decision of where to get my master’s degree, and the first choice that came into my mind was the Graduate School of Economics at Osaka University. Apart from being one of the prestigious, internationally well-known academic institutions, it offers curricula across multiple disciplines that are comprehensive, rigorous yet enlightening. My major was in Business Administration with finance concentration, and at the same time I could also complete minor courses in advanced interdisciplinary studies program. The educational environment here is truly excellent with large-scale research resources. The professors, regarded as leading experts in their fields, are very supportive and easily accessible, with unfailing determination to bring the best out of their students. This hugely helped me to stay motivated and focused with my research. I also benefitted from many chances to present my work and share ideas with students from other universities through intercollegiate seminars. Moreover, I could participate in some educational activities like school trips to provincial areas and factory tours to broaden my horizon as well.
While study was the primary reason for me to be at Osaka University, plenty of extracurricular activities available fulfilled my campus life which I truly appreciated. Due to its multicultural setting, the atmosphere here is very open, lively and vibrant, with festivals like Icho Festival and Machikane Festival that are held every year, when one can enjoy or take part in a variety of events like sports competition, live presentations from clubs and circles and food stalls. There are also many cultural activities being held on special occasion such as tea ceremony, rice-cake making, kimono dressing, to name but a few.
To explain about my years in Japan would be incomplete without mentioning my favorite hobby: traveling. In the free time between semesters, or when I felt I need some refreshment in my life, I would set out on a journey to many places in various parts of Japan for a few days or even for weeks. There are so many things waiting to be explored, ranging from the beautiful and unspoiled Shiretoko National Park in Hokkaido, to white sandy beaches and clear blue water in Okinawa. With the help of a seasonal discount ticket called Seichun 18, which allows unlimited rides on local trains of Japan Railway, over the years I managed to visit countless numbers of fascinating destinations around the country.
I returned to Thailand after graduation in 2010. My role at a Japanese company now includes market research and support in translation which I can apply knowledge and skills that I have learned when I was at school. Although I have been back for a few years already, nowadays I can still stay connected with worldwide network of alumni through various channels like a community site managed by the university and a facebook page for Osaka University International Alumni Association. Furthermore, Osaka University Bangkok Center for Education & Research also organizes events occasionally to promote close relationship among alumni.
I believe that my experience in Japan has contributed much to my success. I will cherish my unforgettable and meaningful memories there, always.