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Message from Students and Graduates - DID (2006) Japanese
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Message from Graduates

K. Ali Akkemik (Ph.D in International Development), Turkey

Looking back at the three years I spent at the PhD program at GSID (2003-2006), I come to realize that I have learned a lot more from my friends than I learned from books. GSID has a student from almost every Asian country. Chatting with them, I learned as well as I taught. GSID realizes a small-scale ‘globalization' in an 8-storey building. Also, our nice Japanese friends teach us about Japan, its culture, and people too.

GSID offers an excellent environment with a favorable surrounding and high-level facilities for foreign students to learn about their subjects and the world. It excellently serves it purposes of education and melting people from different countries in one pot. Coming from different developing countries of the world, we have different perceptions and solution alternatives to development issues. This is a great asset and more informative than just absorbing all the theories in the textbooks.

Academic staff at GSID deserves a special gratitude for they are great supporters of students. They make it easy for foreign students to adapt to a country like Japan where foreigners face so many difficulties. They also give their students the joy of learning.

What I am taking away from GSID with me is not only the analytical tools I learned and will be using during my future career, but also the intellectual confidence to help me find my way in academics and to view any challenge ahead as a potential opportunity for my growth.

New in GSID? There is nothing to worry. Do your bets and enjoy GSID to the full.


Jean-Claude Maswana (Ph.D in International Development)

As I look back to my experience at GSID, I think it was the most important part of my academic training. I learned a great deal, both intellectually and practically during my studies at GSID. I would like to express my appreciation for all those who have contributed to developing such a fine institution.

I joined GSID in 1998, from my native Congo (Kinshasa), a typical low-income country. The beginning was extremely challenging but thanks to effective supports from my supervisor, professors and other staffs I could finally adjust into the school life. I learnt a lot, I had to. I was motivated and eager to understand the whole process of development. For this reason, I had high expectations.

I soon realized that professors at GSID were very supportive to students. I was particularly impressed by their high degree of professionalism and field-based experience as well as their cultural and intellectual flexibility. Naturally, the school's interdisciplinary curriculum provided a balance between instruction in the theoretical and the applied aspects of development. What's clear to me ?now more than 3 years after I completed my PhD from GSID? is what a good quality education I got. In particular, the analytical skills and substantive knowledge in the area of development policies have served me extremely well, then and now in my current role as a scholar.

Along the way, there were a lot of different stops and some interesting experiences, all of which were valuable, but the one I will never forget is my interaction with my seminar members and supervisor. The latter, an actively engaged mentor with up-to-date knowledge about the many requirements for all aspects of issues I was working on. From my supervisor, I also learnt that supervising foreign students goes behind the simple academic advising, but requires some dose of inter-personal communication and commitment Looking back, I think that experience defined who I am as a teacher, and taught me a new way to think about professor-student interaction.

With my seminar mates, I enjoyed the discussions about the challenges we had in common and the problems we all faced. I learnt that most of what you learn in a Ph.D. program comes from doing research on your own, working closely with your supervisors, communicating results in seminars (and attempting to publish), attending conferences, and talking to your fellow students. Soon after graduation, I missed that interaction and realized how important GSID was to my growth as a researcher.

From GSID, I had the unique opportunity to develop the freedom to think critically, independently, and to cultivate my mind to its fullest potential. Along with such benefits comes a tremendous personal responsibility?a responsibility to others, a responsibility to contribute to development, and a responsibility to teach and to serve, not only in my native country but at the global level. As a GSID graduate, this is what I perceive my role to be.

I do wish all current and future students would take advantage of the many opportunities that GSID offer and prepare themselves for future personal and international development challenges. My thoughts about GSID are unprintable. The whole experience has been awesome and I could go on for pages if you would let me, but I will leave it at this.


Message from Students and Graduates in the past

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