Andressa Camila Seiko Nakagawa


Lives of the Nikkei scholarship 'Dream Come True Project' students ~ Andressa Camila Seiko Nakagawa

Why did you decide to study in Japan?

I met a Japanese researcher when I was in Brazil and he told me a lot about agricultural research. Since then I became interested in studying in Japan. I chose to study in Japan because of the high quality of universities and I wanted to know more about the Japanese culture as Nikkei.

How is your life in Japan?

In Japan, I spend most of my time in the laboratory. There are more work to be done in the laboratory in Japan than the student life in Brazil. Sometimes 24 hours a day is not enough. However, in Japan, even if I stay till late in the night in the university, it is very safe to go back home. It may depend on the specialized field, but there is a lot of pressure from the supervisor to present results which can be stressful. However, there are many advantages in studying at a Japanese university. In the field of science, the materials used for experiments cost a lot of money. In state universities in Brazil, there are often problems due to lack of funding for science researches. In Japan we can concentrate on our researches without such problems. In Japan everything is very convenient and people are kind and Japan is livable country. When I became a Japan Foundation Fellow, I became friends with many Nikkei people. There are many activities as a NFSA member and I learned a lot not only about the Japanese culture but also about the culture of other countries.

Tell us about your present study or research.

I am a doctoral student in the field of Agronomy, with the focus on soybean. Climate change and desertification have become a big problem in the agricultural sector since they are causing decline in harvest quantity and seed quality. I am therefore doing a research on the changes in soybean components under various environmental stresses. I research on how the plants which cannot move react under stressful environment to increase quantity and improve quality of soybean.

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

As Nikkei, it was easy for me to get use to the life style in Japan. What Japanese think and say are different which might be hurtful sometime. However, I have learned about the Japanese culture from my parents such as respecting the elder, so I did not have such a big culture shock.

What is your dream for the future?

My dream is to become a bridge between Japan and Brazil in the agriculture sector. Most farmers in Brazil are a small-scale farmer and they have difficulties making ends meet. Their efforts are hardly recognized. I want to use my knowledge which I gained in Japan to support such farmers.

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

Studying in Japan is very hard, but if you really want to study in Japan, I hope you will give all your best.