Place: Kobe Campus for Commerce, the University of Hyogo.
"Professor Yahya is one of the most beloved professors by the GBC students. I attended his "Global economy" class which was extremely valuable. While attending his class, one can easily notice that he is a passionate educator. "
My name is Yahya Almasri, and I have been working at the University of Hyogo as an assistant professor since February 2020. I teach "Global Economy" and "Program to experience Japan" to GBC students. I also support the daily lives of GBC students in the International Student Dormitory (Global House) and supervise RAs (Resident Assistants).
Well, I came to Japan as a self-financed student in September 2013. I studied Japanese at Osaka Japanese Language Education Center (JASSO) and then received my Master's and Ph.D. degrees from Osaka University, Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
My main research fields are forced migration studies, Middle Eastern Politics, and public policy.
As an early-career researcher, I would say that my purpose is to serve society, and contribute to academic research and the policymaking process.
Doing research is a morally rewarding experience because a dedicated social science researcher attempts to develop realistic solutions for issues that affect people's daily lives.
My purpose as an academic is to educate students, raise their global awareness, and arouse their learning interests. For example, the international community faces numerous global challenges such as armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate change, poverty, human rights abuses, an unprecedented rise of nationalism, Islamophobia, misinformation, political polarization, and many others. Therefore, I think students should study these challenges, seek solutions for them, and work on shaping a promising future for posterity.
I usually prepare my lectures in advance, and luckily, I have not faced any considerable difficulties so far. Thankfully, the majority of GBC students are motivated to study. I also urge students to double up their efforts and suggest further readings.
As you know, enthusiasm is fundamental for students to acquire knowledge. I think that interacting and engaging with students also broaden a teacher's perspective on many topics. Many students impress me with their intelligent questions and perfect assignments.
(Speaking more on difficulties that face teachers) The COVID-19 pandemic led educational institutions worldwide to adopt innovative teaching methods and reduce the conventional face-to-face interactions between students and teachers. I assume that many of my colleagues at work would agree with me if I said that teaching online could be time-consuming and less engaging for teachers.
I was born in the Old City of Damascus, the heart of the Syrian capital, so I came from the so-called 'developing world.' Actually, I was raised in a peaceful environment and lived in peace until the eruption of the Syrian war in 2011. So I can imagine the harsh circumstances many international students experienced before arriving in Japan because I lived in a conflict zone for two years and seven months.
From my humble experience, I think that life in Japan is engaging and liberating for international students, especially those from dispriviliged backgrounds. For example, I juggled studying with multiple part-time jobs when I started my student life in Osaka. And to be honest with you, I was stressed out about paying off my massive student loan. However, I managed my time and progressed well in my studies. As a result, I was awarded many scholarships and could focus more on my studies. Thanks to many Japanese scholarship foundations, my student life became much easier.
I strongly advise international students to socialize with Japanese people, learn about Japanese culture, introduce their own cultures, and contribute to Japanese society as much as possible.
Please do your best to integrate into Japanese society and work on your social and Japanese language skills. Remember that resilience, patience, perseverance, motivation, and planning are the keys to success in your mission abroad. Be yourself and unleash your full potential!
Also, please keep in mind that Japan is an emerging country of migration with a labor market that needs skilled foreign migrants in the post-COVID economic recovery.
Siddhant Bhatt, Global House Resident Assistant (India)