Celebrating diversity in a changing world
My choice - University of Oulu
When Natsuha Kajita taught her mother tongue Japanese to international students in Kyoto, she saw the huge potential of intercultural groups in education. “In the process of learning the language, we also got to learn about each other, ourselves, our identities and cultures. And I felt this potential should also be recognised outside of language classes.”
This experience ignited the wish to study and research education in the context of globalisation. “I wanted to do that in Europe because I wanted to experience living and studying in a culturally diverse environment, and I saw a lot of opportunities for international master’s degree students,” Natsuha says. When she found the master’s programme in Education and Globalisation at the University of Oulu, it was clear that she had to apply for it. “It was exactly what I was looking for!” she says.
Changing learning environment
“People from different backgrounds are working and learning together in a changing learning environment. We are to widen our perspectives, to be open to new and different ideas. We need to rethink education in this globalised world in order to contribute to a society that celebrates diversity"
She describes her experiences with online teaching as challenging in a good way. “The support of the teachers and other students is helping a lot. We often have discussions and group works. It creates a connection even though we are not in the same classroom.” But Natsuha values the discussions also for another reason: “Since I have started the courses, I feel that the ideas and thoughts I have are evolving everyday inspired by discussions in the classes. I am looking forward to gaining more different perspectives.”
Being a language teacher herself, Natsuha has always found languages fascinating. “Learning a language is like getting access to another world,” she says. So, of course, she also started learning Finnish. “I knew some Finnish phrases before, and it is quite exciting to understand how the grammar behind works and to learn new words.”
Oulu welcomed Natsuha with a bright blue sky. “When I looked up, the sky seemed so wide,” she laughs, “I don’t know if this was because I was surrounded by nature or if it was this exciting feeling of a new beginning, with all the opportunities ahead of me,” she smiles.