08 Nov 2017 20:12 IST

Letters from Urasa

Writing from a town near Tokyo, IIM-B’s PGPEM students write about their experiences in the country

The tag line of International University of Japan (IUJ) – ‘Where the World Gathers’, is apt. The college is hosting 57 nationals this year as part of its global exchange programme. After meeting some of the fellow students, who would be our classmates for the next three months, we did some homework and found out about their respective countries of origin. That’s when we realised that IUJ provides a truly global environment for MBA students.

Japan has made a name for itself for its technological advancements, but what was interesting for us was to know was the systems that are in place in the country to maintain order and their collective decision-making as a society.

Our experience at IUJ has been marvellous. The college is situated in serene Urasa — a 90-minute bullet train ride from Tokyo. The town is famous for its ski lodges (we haven’t experienced snowfall yet) and the college was built here to encourage people from all around the world to bond with each other.

Another unique feature of this college is that they have a lot of student clubs. There is a club where one can learn martial arts such as Aikido, Kendo and Aiyado! We have also been playing basketball and cricket (playing cricket in Japan with the mountains as a backdrop is definitely a unique experience). We have learnt a lot too and have experienced the advantages of working with teams from different countries, cultures and thought processes. The exchange experience has been a great platform for us to learn to be assertive and maintain harmony in a working group. What we learnt here will definitely help us in any business organisation where many projects and assignments are stalled due to either a lack of cross-cultural sensitivity or effective communication.

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