Going back to Europe

I’ve got accepted from Global Entrepreneurship Summer School 2017, which is organized by the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie in cooperation with four major universities in Munich. There’ll be 105 students selected throughout the world and the challenge of this year is the food crisis.

I’m so glad to be back in Europe this year although after participating the program I might be going to bankrupt because of the expenses I have to spend. However, this summer school will provide accommodation, food, and transportation fees in Munich. All I need to prepare is the travel budget! One way flight costs around 600euro at cheapest and I’m thinking to visit Copenhagen first to see one business school there before coming down to Munich.

That school where I’m planning to apply for a master degree next year is Copenhagen Business School. I can’t describe how nervous I am when imagining the worse case scenario in which I would be declined to enter the school. This time will be the best opportunity for me as a non-EU student to get to know the school life there.

Hopefully, I’ll see some of my friends in Europe during my stay! This gets me so excited about going back there and there’s nothing more I could ask for since I came back to Japan. I strongly hope to get a job and live in Europe where people choose to live their own life for the sake of themselves rather than live for their work, unlike my country.

I hope this short visit will be the next step to get closer to my future plans!

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Some similarities I’ve found between Finland and Japan

Finns and Japanese people are both said that they are shy, honest, polite… sure! They wouldn’t become friends instantly with strangers unless they are drunk. Well, there’re many differences among both which apply to other countries so I’d only like to note what I’ve found some similarities between both countries during my student life in Finland.

They are both experts at finding beauty in silence. Throughout Japanese history, artworks which are pretty much simple and aesthetic especially in a form of painting, ceramics, tea cult, flower arrangement, and gardening.

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There has been the idea of being entertained in simplicity and cultivating own cultural perspectives, which is called “Wabi-Sabi” rooted from Zen Buddhism. It offers an inspiration in your life by embracing imperfection as a worldview. I actually experienced this feeling in Finland when seeing everlasting ripples on a lake. My Finnish family also loved escaping to their summer cottage in nature doing nothing rather than going out and spending money when they had time. It was absolutely amazing to just soak in the silence moments while being comfortable and fostering own senses to smell, feel, hear, and enjoy every small thing surrounding us.

We take relatively a long time to get along. Yup, we’re like onions. Those who might think of Japanese people being kind to other people, that kind of situation only happens when they see people in need on the ground of having enough time in their schedule. Two of my Japanese best friends told me before that they don’t usually open their mind to people unless spending 1 or 2 years. Similarly, it was difficult for me to become a close friend with Finnish people compared to other Europeans.

Finnish and Japanese languages have many common words. Let me explain some of them for instance. A basic one is Kissa meaning a cat in Finnish but it’s a cafe in Japanese. And if you say “mitä?” in Finnish, (means what) Japanese people will understand you said: “Did you look?” Lastly, the funniest one to me is Ahonen, which might be the most common Finnish surname, however,  in Japanese “Aho” literally means stupid and “nen” can be “I am” in the southern dialect. So it actually sounds “Hey, I’m stupid” when a random Mr./Ms. Ahonen introduces to Japanese people. Additionally, both pronunciations are easy and similar to each other in terms of the structure of vowels and consonants.

So here’re some similarities about two countries I’ve found interesting most. I hope you’ve got a sneak peek into Finnish and Japanese culture even a little.