Voices from Students

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Introductory Video of GSGES

International students talk about their study in the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies (GSGES).


OBIKE Kingston Tochukwu
Doctoral Program in Environmental Management Terrestrial Ecosystems Management

I have always been interested in a variety of disciplines, from history and government policy to the physical and natural sciences. I do not intend to limit myself to any one discipline, but rather to gain knowledge from many.

I stumbled upon GSGES while going through the publications of a faculty member who would become my supervisor, and I believed in GSGES’s policy of research interdependence and interdisciplinary approaches to solving or mitigating humanityʼs most contentious problems in our shared global environment.

As a masterʼs student during the peak of COVID-19 in 2021, social interactions, research collaborations and international travel were limited. However, despite this unprecedented situation, I still had the opportunity to learn from GSGES’s extensive English-taught courses, which cut across multiple disciplines with an environmental focus. When in doubt, I was able to consult with many of the academic staff who were always willing to share their own experiences and insights on many topics. To gain practical experience, I interned at the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) in the subtropical paradise of Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture.

Currently, there are concerns about agricultural production and quality due to global warming. As a PhD student at GSGES, I am interested in the nutrition of tropical fruits (such as passion fruit) in relation to different terrestrial environments. I believe that exploring the limitations of passion fruit nutrition in different soils in the Nansei islands of Japan, and deriving solutions to these limitations, will expand the possibilities of cultivation in new regions not previously considered. This will enhance good quality production, possibly even for other tropical fruits with similar characteristics to passion fruit, thus limiting the dependence of farmers on regions more prone to the devastating effects of global warming.

Finally, with my background in applied geophysics (prior to my enrollment at GSGES) and soil science, and the opportunities still made available to me by GSGES, I am now part of the vast number of other researchers who are working honestly, diligently, and passionately to develop interdisciplinary solutions to global environmental problems, and for that privilege I am grateful.


Masterʼs Program in Environmental Management Environmental Infrastructure Engineering

I graduated from the Department of Civil, Environmental and Resources Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and I am currently pursuing a Masterʼs degree at the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies (GSGES), specializing in Environmental Infrastructure Engineering. Through my studies at GSGES, I have gained two significant insights.

First, the process of repeated input and output has allowed me to acquire practical and proactive learning experiences. Classes provided ample opportunities for discussions and presentations, enabling me to digest the knowledge I acquired and then use it. Fieldwork was conducted in the Keihoku region, extending the learning environment beyond the confines of the classroom. Getting hands-on experience has deepened both my theoretical and practical understanding. In these ways, classes have evolved into platforms for profound learning, encompassing not just the transmission of knowledge but also presentations and practical applications.

Second, as a result of my studies, my perspective on various matters has broadened. Learning about Global Environmental Studies with students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines has made me appreciate different perspectives on the same theme. For instance, even in the area of soil research, viewpoints differ between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Engineering in terms of approaches and future goals. Furthermore, students from different specialist fields bring their own unique approaches, allowing me to learn from multiple perspectives within the same academic discipline. Through these opportunities to learn about fields I had not been exposed to before, such as economics and pedagogy, and a three-month internship in the United States conducting research, I have broadened my horizons.

Upon entering the program, I aspired to gain extensive knowledge and experiences, and I am pleased to say that student life at GSGES has surpassed my initial expectations. Engaging with diverse individuals, sharing learning experiences, conducting in-depth research in my specialist field, and learning from various perspectives have all contributed to the expansion of my academic and personal horizons—beyond what I had originally envisioned. Going forward, I aim to leverage this multifaceted learning to realize my goal of improving the global environments.