Message from Students Vol.1

Mr. Joerg Alexander Weisshaar

Once an OUSSEPian, always an OUSSEPian

Going abroad for one or two semesters is one of the most exiting and rewarding challenges during university life. On the one hand, it means to leave behind the safety of familiar surroundings, family and friends. But on the other hand, it is a huge opportunity to acquire important intercultural skills, to learn more about oneself and to make hundreds of new experiences, unforgettable memories and friends.

For me, this challenge started almost two years ago when I got accepted to study for one semester at Osaka University as an OUSSEP student (Osaka University Short-term Student Exchange Program). OUSSEP is a very special program, bringing together students with different academic majors from all over the world with internationally interested Japanese students. Due to this cultural and academic variety, there were always interesting and mind-broadening discussions taking place. Lecturers always tried to foster the intercultural communication, which in a short time resulted in strong bonds between students – international and Japanese. OUSSEP offers a small but diverse selection of courses from various faculties and allows time for independent study, an option that I really enjoyed. The program was well organized, and left ample opportunities on (study) trips, excursions and parties to get to know Japan better. With an open mindset Osaka as a city, as well as OUSSEP, seemed to be predestined for unforgettable experiences like for me for example, playing a supporting role in a short movie.

Osaka, while also offering much entertainment by itself, is furthermore a very convenient hub to explore and discover other hotspots in the region (e.g. Kyoto, Nara, Kobe), in entire Japan and even East Asia (there is for example a ferry to Pusan in Korea).

Even though I spend just one semester at Osaka University, OUSSEP never stopped for me. Still today I am in contact with many OUSSEPians from all around the world. For this summer we even planned our first OUSSEP revival and many of us will come together somewhere in Europe. Once an OUSSEPian, always an OUSSEPian.