Lives of the Nikkei scholarship 'Dream Come True Project' students ～ Caroline Kaori Tomo
Why did you decide to study in Japan?
Studying in Japan was an old personal project since I always had the interest to know the land where my ancestors came from, to know more about the culture, tradition, and modernity of this small country located on the other side of the world, but recognized worldwide for its technology and education of its people.
How is your life in Japan?
I believe life in Japan is very convenient, especially for me who live in Tokyo. But the greatest advice I could give to people who will come to study in Japan is to try to learn the Japanese language as much as possible before coming, as there are many processes, especially the most bureaucratic ones, which demand good knowledge and fluency in the Japanese language. That is why I am very grateful to Nikkei scholarship, because thanks to the kenshus organized by the members of the NFSA, most of the scholars have a good relationship, and it was thanks to the help of some of them that I managed to solve crucial issues to live in Japan.
Tell us about your present study or research.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Japan has the second lowest infant mortality rate in the world, in addition, is well recognized worldwide by the remarkable low mortality rate of extremely preterm infants. Therefore, my study is about the Comparison between the Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Japan and Brazil, because as all countries aim to provide the best possible health care to their residents, I believe that is crucial to evaluate differences in outcomes between countries, investigate what factors are responsible for those differences, and ultimately learn from each other. Besides that, I am participating in a project about the impact evaluation of the effectiveness of Maternal and Child Health Handbook for improving maternal and child health services in Angola (Africa), where I have had the privilege of working with a very capable team who are always offering me support so that I can improve my knowledge.
Did your consciousness as a Nikkei change in any way through studying in Japan?
Yes, the opportunity to study and live in Japan made it possible for me to know the country better and Japanese culture with different eyes. I was able to understand the customs, rituals, and values inherited from my ancestors, the behavior and the way of thinking of my grandparents, and now I can understand them. I was able to appreciate and understand the great efforts of our immigrant ancestors to keep this tradition, the transmission and preservation of Japanese cultural values through the time with several Japanese associations, schools, and entities in my country. Now, I am more aware that as a Nikkeijin I need to continue through learning and sharing Japanese culture, transmitting that wealth and encouraging future generations to know it and understand it better in order to preserve our cultural identity.
What is your dream for the future?
To be able to participate and create amazing projects, with the aim of helping many people as a way of thanking all of these wonderful opportunities that I am having in my life, especially those that I have had in Japan thanks to this scholarship.
Please give a message to students who are considering studying in Japan.
The whole process since getting the scholarship, enter into a good university, adapting life in Japan .. until you graduate, it can be a hard way, but for sure is worth it. Because it is only by planting good seeds, that you will be able to reap good fruits.