Maki Ujiie Mochizuki


Lives of the Nikkei scholarship 'Dream Come True Project' students ~ Maki Ujiie Mochizuki

Why did you decide to study in Japan?

In Paraguay there are limited facilities and no schools for people with disabilities. However, in Japan, there are schools for children with special needs which they feel comfortable to attend. The teachers at these schools have special knowledge and skills so that they can attend to each child with different needs. I also wanted to study about Japanese education so that I can apply them in Paraguay.

How is your life in Japan?

Life in Japan is safe and I feel comfortable going to different places without any worries. I can also interact with various people and learn different languages and cultures. However, not everything is rosy. For example, I sometimes find it hard not to have my family or someone I can consult with when I am busy with the University work, about my scholarships or my career. Thanks to the members of NFSA and my family who support me despite the distance, I have been able to carry on this far. The NFSA members always give me strength so that I can stay positive. NFSA is like my family in Japan.

Tell us about your present study or research.

Currently I am studying to get a license as a nursery school teacher and a teacher for children with special needs. I attend classes and do two weeks internship and volunteer work.

Did your consciousness as a Nikkei change in any way through studying in Japan?

My identity as Nikkei has not changed much because I already had a strong identity before coming to Japan. However, thanks to the scholarship, I was able to confirm and secure my identity as Nikkei.
Mi identidad como nikkei no cambio mucho. Porque antes de venir a Japón mi identidad nikkei era muy fuerte y firme, por ello, gracias a la beca pude confirmar y asegurar mi identidad nikkei.

What is your dream for the future?

After returning to Paraguay, I want to open a school for children with disabilities which they feel safe and comfortable to attend. I also would like to apply and make use of many things I have learned in Japan. This is not an easy task, but I will make my best effort so that my dream comes true.

Please give a message to students who are considering studying in Japan.

Studying abroad can change your way of thinking. For me, it changed in a positive way. I also met many different people. Since this kind of opportunity is very rare, I am sure that I will not regret this decision to study in Japan. With experience like this, you learn to value even the small things in your life around you.