September 30,2017

GSGES Spring Semester Course in Kyoto University 2017

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I'm delighted to have this opportunity to join in GSGES Spring Semester Course 2017 at Kyoto University, Japan. GSGES (Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies), Kyoto University established the program for graduate students to join a Spring Semester Course for studying at Kyoto University under the auspices of two projects: the “Project for the Creation of Trans?ASEAN Environmental and Social Innovators through Development of Overseas Satellites”, the “Top Global University Project”, and the “Re-inventing Japan Project”. The course consists of several lecture classes in the GSGES Master’s program, supervision on specific research topics by relevant professors at GSGES, a field trip, and other educational activities.

This course was held between April 1st to September 30th, 2017. I stayed with 7 other foreign students in the same apartment. They came from Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. We studied in the same classes but different laboratory. I was so lucky to join in Fujii's Laboratory or the Environmentally Friendly Industries for Sustainable Development Laboratory. The topic of my research was Adsorption Technology for Removal of Micro-Pollutant in Water in the case of Perfluorinated Compounds because these topic was related to my research in Mahidol University, Thailand. 

Not only my research, but I also was joined in many Field Surveys Surrounding Lake Biwa with members of Fujii’s Laboratory. These Field Surveys made me understand the analytical method of pre-treatment Water-Quality Data, Methods of Analysis and I learned how to operate instruments for water analysis. My sensei and members of Fujii Lab are incredibly interactive and really helpful in developing my skills for research.

Moreover, I had been joined in the 2017 study tour for GSGES students in Minabe Town, Wakayama Prefecture. This study tour expects the GSGES students to learn the industry, livelihood, environment, and disaster risk reduction in Japan.

It was my first experience of visiting Menabe town, Ume farm, and the beach in Japan. I was really excited about keeping Ume farm and got more knowledge about Ume planting as well as information about sustainably managing coppice forests. Totally, the tour made me feel good and very impressed about rural Japan.
Actually, each day in this course seemed like a journey, one filled with new experiences enriched by the diversity. Meeting people from different countries has helped me open my vision and learn cultural diversity. Although the language might create a barrier, with a little motivation you can still immerse yourself into Japanese culture, as my friends are so kindhearted and sometime they can be understood by me by eye contact.

For my life in Kyodai at that time, every day it was a challenging and beautiful time. I went to many prefectures to visit famous places in Japan and many Japanese guys asked me which place most impressed me. My answer was Kyoto University because this place gave me everything and it felt like my house. 

Particularly, joining in Fujii Laboratory has been a once in life-time opportunity for me to make me more knowledgeable and got me my new family in Japan as "Fujii Family".

Finally, I am so proud to be a member of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University. Because my life changed after I enrolled in this program and I got the best opportunity to go  abroad for personal development and academic growth. 

I would like to express my deep gratitude to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Suwanna Kitpati Boontanon, all of the lecturers and staff at Mahidol University and Kyoto University, my friends and Sukeesan's family for everything they gave to me. If I have the chance to go again, I will not hesitate to do so.

Suratsawadee Sukeesan (Off)
Doctoral student in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 
Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University, Thailand