Mayeso Naomi Victoria GWEDELA
Malawi → Higashihiroshima
Q1. Please introduce yourself.
I’m Mayeso Naomi Victoria Gwedela from Malawi, a country in south-eastern Africa. I was born and grew up in the capital city Lilongwe. I got my BSc Biology and Chemistry from the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, Class of the 2013. Currently, I am an associate lecturer in Human Physiology at the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine. I came to Hiroshima University to study Neurobiology through the MEXT scholarship.
Q2. Why did you apply to HSAA?
During my first weeks here, my life wasn’t the way I wanted to be. I wanted to travel, make friends and interact with international and Japanese students to learn more about their culture. I saw that being an HSAA would allow me to do that and write about it on an international platform that encourages prospective international students to consider Japan as their study abroad destination. I also particularly wanted to encourage Malawians to change their view about Hiroshima from the place the atomic bomb was dropped to an exciting and welcoming place to study and make international connections.
Q3. Why did you choose the university in Hiroshima?
The response I received from my current Professor about taking me on as his student was quick, welcoming and enthusiastic, and I felt that his laboratory was the right place for me.
As I was applying to Japanese Universities, the background research on Hiroshima and its World War 2 history was intriguing. I wanted to live in the city that is evidence of how much can be achieved if people put their minds to it.
Last but not least. I knew a Malawian who has spent 2 years here at HIRODAI and so I knew I would not be a stranger to at least one person!
Q4. What are the good points of Hiroshima?
The Japanese are friendly and made me feel at home, always willing to help regardless of the language barrier. Like at the supermarket, people are willing to help even if you do not ask for help.
The host family arrangement has helped me understand the Japanese culture
The fact that Hiroshima is a peace promoting prefecture changed my mindset about war as I had never experienced one. So I’m willing to work towards peace.
The fact that Hiroshima isn’t a crowded city and there are lots of trees and natural vegetation makes it feel like home.
Q5. Please give a message to your Kohai (the students) who plan studying abroad in Japan.
Japan is the friendliest country I can think of. It is so conducive for international students. People are willing to help out so you will not have unsolved problems. The cultural values upheld are good and so the Malawians will feel comfortable here. The student to teacher ratio is low so that teachers concentrate on individuals to help them learn better. The unique culture of japan and various events will keep you entertained. Oh, and if before you come to Japan, please learn how to ride a bicycle!