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Interview with: Makoto

Why did you choose to study abroad in this country? Did anything about this country surprise you / was it different than you expected?

I chose to study in The Netherlands simply because of the research position. I was however delighted by the canals all over the country-they are very beautiful and not like anything you would see in a city in the U.S.

What was your favorite trip you took while you were there?

Hands down my favorite trip I took when I was in Leiden was to Rome and Pescara, in Italy. I made a couple very good friends from Italy, friends I still talk to, and another friend and I went to visit friends we made while we were in Leiden.

How did you meet locals? Have you stayed in touch?

It was very difficult to meet locals. I am still in touch with my research team. I met a few students who I am slightly in touch with but only ones that hung out with international students.

How do you think study abroad will help you in your future?

I am hoping that my experience abroad will help me to get into graduate school or obtain a position doing public health research.

What advice do you have for a student thinking about studying abroad in this country?

I wish I had seen more of The Netherlands, gone to more small towns and seen the oldest parts. Make friends with the international students-Dutch people are very friendly and helpful while you interact with them, but many do not spend time with international students. Also, do not be put off by how straightforward they can be-they don’t mean to be offensive, it’s just part of the culture-they are trying to help you!

Anything else you would like to share with us?

Research in Leiden, full time, was an amazing experience. My mentoring professor was sooooooo helpful and supportive. The experience made me want to pursue research as a career. If you are at all interested in research, I highly recommend this experience.