Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-ArtsAccepted: Department of Imaging Arts and SciencesSeptember 2014 to January 2015
I had never been to Asia and the desire to discover cultures that I had only seen from the distance motivated me to go there as an exchange student. I chose Japan out of the several Asian countries that have exchange program with my school mostly because I was very interested in Japanese cinema and photography which made me wonder about a world that was far from where I live and from everything I knew. By coming to Japan, I could finally provide my imagination with a new, more tangible, way of experiencing Japanese culture. So far, the result has been well beyond what I expected : I am amazed by the immensity of the city of Tokyo and the many activities it offers, the trains can take you to the sea or the mountain in less than an hour and I have never been disapointed by the countless number of diferent foods that can be found in restaurants everywhere in the city. MAU participates a lot in creating a dynamic and culturally rich environment for this experience. I am still impressed by the size of the campus, its equipment and facilities. The diversity of the classes, workshops and « zemis » in the Department of Imaging Art and Sciences, also the language classes, the group works from Contextual Studies class and the Jazz Club gave me a chance to meet a lot of people with many different personalities and interests. I am glad I can keep working on my projects, experimenting with new methods and benefiting from points of view and opinions that differ from the ones I usually face. In October, I had the great opportunity to participate in an exhibition in Seoul with some students and a professor from MAU. This experience, along with the people I met in MAU, not only Japanese but also Chinese and Korean, gave me the possiblity to get a better understanding of the diversity of Asian culutres and the singularity of Japanese culture among them. All this offered me an experience I won't forget. To be continued...
Aalto University School of Arts, Design and ArchitectureAccepted: Department of Imaging Arts and SciencesSeptember 2014 to January 2015
My motivation for applying for the exchange program to MAU was a wish to gather inspiration and try things I don´t have a chance to study at my own university. I have been able to do this and so much more! It is hard to know exactly what to expect coming to Japan, and even after arriving here the realities of studying appear different each day. It has been a joy to discover new aspects to this journey at every turn. The classes foreign students can attend at MAU are of course limited because of the language barrier, but I have found the ones open for us very interesting even when they are not directly related to my field of study. Please keep an open mind to make the most of your time. I am very thankful for the chance to experience the learning environment at MAU. The campus is so different from what I am used to, with its museum, club rooms, bakery and of course the amazingly beautiful library. Just spending time here is worth the trip. I only wish the school semester was longer!
Evelyn Ruichen Liu
Pratt InstituteAccepted: Department of Japanese PaintingSeptember 2014 to January 2015
I have wanted to visit Japan since my childhood, and the International Exchange Program between Pratt Institute and MAU finally gave me that opportunity. Having never been to Japan, I had no expectations—yet studying in Tokyo was nothing like what I expected. The academic structure at MAU was very different from the one at Pratt, forcing me to become more flexible in my work habits and also open my horizons to a different way of learning. My limited knowledge of Japanese also reinforced this aspect of my experience. Despite this handicap, I was warmly welcomed by my classmates, such as in my English-speaking Contextual Studies class or in the clubs that I joined. I met a lot of extremely interesting and friendly people, both native Japanese and also fellow foreigners. The MAU campus itself was very self-sufficient, with studios and labs for the different departments and subjects, an art supplies store on campus, an extremely beautiful library, and surprisingly cheap and filling food in the cafeterias. Despite its location in the outskirts of Tokyo, its close location to train stations meant downtown areas were accessible in less than an hour. The only downside to this exchange program is that one semester is far too short to be able to fully appreciate being a student at MAU and living in a city as diverse and interesting as Tokyo.
Hong-Ik UniversityAccepted: Department of Visual Communication DesignSeptember 2014 to January 2015
I had been interested in studying in Japan for a long time, and I knew about Musabi, but I decided to go to the university in my country. Now I have been studying in Musabi as an exchange student for this semester as I was given a great opportunity. I am very satisfied with my life in Musabi. The new dormitory is very neat and comfortable, and there are resident advisors living in the dorm to support exchange students. Also, the student tutor or the assistants taught me about things I didn’t know at Department of Visual Communication Design and helped with difficult matters. I have been taking classes of illustration, pictures, package design and such. There are about 20 students in each class, and there is plenty of time to discuss about my own work with the professors, and they give each student a lot of advice. There are not many differences in the teaching method between MAU and my university in Korea, but here the professors respect individual students more, and I could consult them about details of my work. Moreover, there is a very interesting illustration class where students are given “instantaneous assignments” which I never have done in my country. In that class, students are asked to draw a picture according to the topic with their left hand, or draw one picture in a pair without saying any words each other. I enjoy the unexpected interesting outcomes every time. Musabi has good facilities and is well equipped for work, and students can borrow necessary equipment whenever they want, and the facilities such as the library and the museum are also amazing. While the library has a large number of books and DVDs or videos, the building itself is very beautiful as well. Various things are happening on campus all the time, which is one of the things I like about Musabi. Student clubs seem very active, and we can see their activities as well as fliers or posters about their clubs here and there. Since there are always events or exhibitions planned by students going on, we can always feel creative energy and I also get that kind of energy. Especially during the art festival, we had a lot of fun events including acting or music stages, flea markets, parades and food stalls. As there are so many attractive spots to visit in Tokyo, and various things have been happening in Musabi every day, I get a lot of energy here and it is a shame that I can stay here only for one semester. I love Musabi and my exchange is more successful than expected before coming to Japan. I would like to enjoy the rest of my time, so as not to regret anything while I am staying here.
Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-ArtsAccepted: Department of Imaging Arts and SciencesApril 2014 to July 2014
When I decided to participate in an exchange program in Japan, I expected to find a different culture, a new dynamism and a fresh look on my work.I definitively found this at MAU. Indeed you are directly buried in a strong energy to work and a good atmosphere.
Work practice and teaching methods are completely different from my school in Paris, and it was a really good thing to change my work habits. At MAU you have all that you need to feel at home and produce. The staff is really helpful and all the students who can speak English will automatically help you if you have any trouble.
In my department Imaging Arts and Sciences, there are a lot of facilities, laboratories and studios in order to carry out your work project.
I have the chance to participate in an exhibition in July with some students of MAU and Prof. Norio Kobayashi, and this is a great opportunity for a young artist like me to show his work in a city like Tokyo.
This is a wonderful experience to be here, and I have more than three months to spend in Japan and to continue to be surprised by this amazing country.
Politecnico di MilanoAccepted: Department of Science of DesignApril 2014 to July 2014
I knew it would be a nice experience, but I did not expect it to be so beautiful. When I was little, my father, because of his work, was often in Tokyo, and every time he came back he used to tell me stories that I thought I'd never experience, yet here I am, now, at Musashino Art University. My experience in Department of Science of Design has been very educational and intense. The hard work made with experienced and kind professors helped me to expand my range of vision of the design project. Rarely have I got to think about the graphics in three dimensions in a poetic way, and I think this will be very helpful in my future.
Even from a human point of view it was an educational experience - the kindness of the people around me and the desire to share knowledge and culture can teach me a lot.
I will come back home soon and I am sure I am going to always look back at the past few months, so long but so short. I will miss everything, from the creative energy that I breathed in school, to delicious sushi discounted at 50% after 8 pm.
Berlin University of the ArtsAccepted: Department of Scenography, Display and Fashion DesignApril 2014 to July 2014
I wanted to come to Musabi because I found the aesthetics of traditional and contemporary Japanese design culture especially pleasing and because I aimed at specializing in a course I normally could not take in my field of studies back home. Within my studies I could not only settle for Scenography and Stage Art, but was also unexpectedly given the opportunity to attend a holistic Fashion Design course, which opened up a whole new challenge for me. Even though I could not speak Japanese, I was getting through courses quite well, thanks to everybody, from my teachers to fellow students, who were always making a patient effort to try and translate things for me into English. So was the Center for International Relations, whose people in charge are very caring and helpful. They provide exchange students with lots of information beforehand and, once arrived in Japan, everything necessary to get started- from housing in the universities dormitory, over subway maps to advice anytime if needed.
Structure-wise and architecturally, the campus is mentionably amazing! All departments are arranged on the same area, complemented by an art supplies store, food spots, public places to gather and an iconic library.
The way of approaching to projects is a lot different than how one might be used from working back at the home institution: the outputs are rather based on personal notion and emotional decisions, than on thought-through concepts and research that consequently lead to rational design decisions.
Anyway, I can wholeheartedly recommend the exchange experience at Musashino Art University to everyone, especially if one is eager to soak up all the endless inspiration provided by the culture, the food, societies' quirks, the architecture, environment, etc. of the city of Tokyo, its suburbs and the country in general!
Berlin University of the ArtsAccepted: Department of ArchitectureApril 2014 to July 2014
Arriving at Musashino Art University I was warmly welcomed and from the very beginning everything was very well organized. My department was really dedicated to find the right classes for me and to help me with my schedule. As far as I know my school, this was a totally different experience and made me feel quite comfortable and integrated from the first moment.
Not having a campus in Berlin as well, I started enjoying campus life at Musabi by getting to know lots of people from different departments and different subjects or joining some of the student clubs that offer you many different activities after school. Besides being nicely arranged building wise and offering short ways from department to department, the campus organization makes it possible to see all the different studies and works at Musabi. Due to my Japanese language skills, I also had the chance of having some insights in various studies besides my architecture courses, which was really enriching. In every class the teachers and also the students were very helpful and tried to integrate me as best they could. In my architecture project I had a really intense and revealing time while talking to different professors and students. At the same time, I could work quite freely and focus on my own strengths and interests, which was really helpful in terms of getting to know better my own attitude towards architecture. The workshops and facilities are also great and the equipment is amazing. For the very reason that I am an architecture student, my favorite place was the library built by Sou Fujimoto. The catalogue is huge and the atmosphere is just very impressive.
Even though the school is located almost in the countryside of Tokyo, it is still easy to travel to the city center or even to the very nature. In a short time you can find yourself surrounded by mountains and waterfalls or you are in Shibuya lost in neon lights, advertisements and crowds of crazy Japanese. But also in the city center you can have your silent moments in a shrine before getting lost again in all those possibilities that Tokyo provides you. You can have everything here that you can image.
Architecture-wise, Tokyo is really inspiring and diverse. I just can recommend to everyone to walk and walk and walk...and by slowly discovering the city and its specialties, I promise you will find lots of inspiration for your work and your life. I had a great time here.