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Please tell us about yourself. How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unusual career?

I am Rithika Dulam and have been to Japan for doing my Master’s degree with the help of MEXT scholarship. I had completed my Bachelors degree in the field of Civil Engineering and had wished to pursue a higher degree in the same field. Hence, I had chosen Earthquake engineering in the scholarship category and obtained admission in University of Tokyo, which is one of the best universities in the world. After finishing my course, I found that I couldn’t have taken a better decision, which has helped me in developing my career in the research field.

What did you study ?

Before enrolling for my Master’s at University of Tokyo (Computational Engineering), i did my Civil Engineering from Osmania University College of Engineering (B.E.)

How was the experience  in Japan?

Japan is a wonderful country with exquisite flora and ever helping people. I have observed that the customs, traditions or family values are quite similar with India. Coming to the differences, Yes, I agree that the food part is difficult to adjust to in the initial stage, but believe me, once you inculcate the habit of eating Japanese food you will love it and also it is quite healthy. Therefore, it’s not at all counted as a hurdle but a minor blocker. Another hindrance with higher intensity is language. One will have to work on it to make one’s life easier in Japan. This you will be able to overcome easily given an advantage that you are a student. You will have a lot of Japanese friends, who help you learn the language quickly. You will also have the ever supporting and enthusiastic faculties, always ready to help foreign students.

There is an Indian student association in the university (UTISA), which makes you feel at home in your school. I was living in the JASSO (Japan Student Service Organization) dormitory for international students, where you get a varied option to interact with numerous people from diversified countries every single day. You get favorable chances to learn about their cultures and traditions and leave you with some friendships which stay on for a lifetime. I used to travel around 1 hour to get to school everyday, which is quite common in Tokyo. There are number of Indian stores, which supply at your door step, with anything and everything you require. For all the girls and mothers, who are too anxious about their or their kid’s safety, Japan is one of the safest of safest places. It is quite secure to travel during late night, if you need to travel incase. There is not a single thing to be afraid of in Japan. You will enjoy your stay to the fullest and will miss being there the moment you move out of the country. Japan is a must visit place in one’s lifetime, however given an opportunity to study there is a must grab option!!!

Tell us about your studies?

I was studying at the Earthquake Research Institute of the University of Tokyo, situated in the school’s yayoi campus, while I was registered as a student of the Civil Engineering Department. The professors and students in the University are shining pearls with sheer excellence and I have had the experience of working together with some of the brightest minds in the country. You will be in regular discussion with your professor and lab mates, allowing you an opportunity of constant improvement. I have thoroughly enjoyed my duration of 2 years at the school even though it was stressful at times. At the end of which, I had a thesis, a publication and 2 conference to my name.