The courses of the IUPE program are taught by specially appointed international faculty along with senior Japanese professors, with both these groups actively involved in the advanced research activities of Kyushu University. Many of KIKAN Education courses and Common Engineering Courses are taught by international faculty members, and we here introduce some of these staff members to you.
What distinguishes our program from other international courses is the small community atmosphere. The Faculty of Engineering works hard to take care of the students and foster their development. Leaving your country can be tough, so Kyushu University has specialized student counseling services to help people with that transition. As for academic development, chemistry students get three semesters in real research laboratories, working alongside international scientists (I only had one semester for my Bachelor’s degree).
It’s fun to have so many different cultures in one room and the small class sizes mean there are a lot of student-teacher interactions. In fact, the sheer number of questions means I often get pushed for time during lectures and it’s not unusual to have a small crowd discussing extra topics afterwards.
Regarding chemistry, all students are required to take the basic chemistry in their first semester. The reason for that is because every aspect of our world in some way depends on chemistry. As engineers, we need at least a basic understanding of chemistry to be able to develop and lead projects that rely on modern materials and fuels. Regarding technical communication, good writing is essential since you will have to communicate thoughts, ideas, and concepts that are completely new to your audience. You will have to communicate research that no one has ever done before and convince people that is important.
I feel like, among the professors, I know the IUPE students the best. I’ve been teaching in the IUPE program since the first batch. I completely enjoy teaching IUPE students. This is because they ask questions meaning that they pay attention the lecture, which is one of the motivating factors in teaching. In addition, they are also pretty active in non-academic activities both on and off campus. They are trying their best to expose themselves, and, thus making their presence felt in campus.
My advice would be to try their best luck here in Kyushu University. Japan is one of the safest and cleanest countries in the world, and offers one of the best educations in the world. People in Japan are very kind and helpful to foreign students. Moreover, professors and staffs of Kyushu University take good care of their students. Language should not be considered a barrier, rather it is an asset and learning the Japanese language should be considered as a chance to explore another nation.
I hope that they do their best. Regardless of their grades, I believe if students have done their best, they can be proud of what they have achieved. My aim is to create an environment whereby they can fulfill their potential and can take full advantage of the unique learning opportunities offered by IUPE classes. I encourage students to be active, discussing the subject with each other and me during the class.
I hope that they gain much from the discussion during the classes and that this enables them to learn more than they could alone. I hope these classes build a solid foundation to support their future studies, whether at graduate school or in their future career.
The IUPE program allows students to follow a complete undergraduate program conducted entirely in English, which runs parallel to the undergraduate program conducted in Japanese. In my own experience, the IUPE students and their teaching program are distinguished by several welcome characteristics. For one thing, the IUPE students are notably engaged with the lectures, with a high level of interaction between the students and the lecturer through questions posed by the students and so on, which greatly aids the learning process. Furthermore, being relatively small in number in comparison with those following the Japanese language curriculum, there is a notable kinship and positive, friendly group dynamic among the IUPE students, that must help the students to really enjoy their time in Fukuoka, and help to build networks that support their future careers.
Galileo Galilei wrote in 1623 that `The universe cannot be read until we have learned the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language’. Despite the passage of years, this rather accurately describes the role and importance of mathematical education for those studying the physical sciences and engineering today. Laws of physics and other sciences provide us with quantitative relationships, or, more simply, equations, expressed in terms of important physical quantities. To actually calculate these quantities, such as fluid velocity, temperature and so on, as we must do when considering engineering applications, we must be able to solve the equations. My mathematical courses teach you how to solve these equations, and thereby deduce important engineering quantities, and, along the way, introduce you to the power and beauty of mathematics.
I really hope that the students will grasp the beauty of the fundamental physics and its implication on our daily life. I hope that after the class they will be inspired to perform research in world leading laboratories and develop critical thinking which is so crucial for the young scientist. I also hope that my course will shed light on their future choice between fundamental science or more applied research carrier. But most of all, I hope that they will have a lot of fun as we uncover the secrets of modern physics and chemistry.
While studying abroad might be challenging it is indeed a lot of fun and brings us across the boundaries of countries and cultures. It is even more enjoyable when we have the chance to experience top-level research facilities that are available at the various leading institutes of Kyushu University. I hope that the students will make the most of their stay with us and graduate with great career perspectives and many life-long friendships.