Ivana Belianska

Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava – Type of mobility: Student mobility for Studies – Academic year: 2016/2017

It will change you.

Same color, one hundred shades.

Absurd moments. Every single second, filled with new experiences, thoughts, myths, lot of questions and even more answers. It is quite tough and tricky to describe the whole path of Erasmus student at Tokyo university of the Arts, especially, when you are not part of the east culture.

The most deadal element is to be “one of them”.

Just imagine that situation. 
Japan is one huge coffee roastery filled with many processes, coffee beans, aromas, fragile mugs and paper cups. You are one coffee bean floating between many other beans, prepared to roasting process at the machine.

Yes, you are “one of them”.

But it is not the whole story.
Main barista added you to the bowl, little bit later, than the others. After the process, you are not prepared as the others.You are a little bit late.You look different. You have a different taste, specific, in the other way. There is one thing.

You are only watcher from west.

I was able to be a part of this program for four months, three weeks, three days, five hours, forty-six minutes and forty seconds.

This study program is about to learn, respect and accept. Acceptance the cultural differences and a culture by itself is the most important factor. It can make your life in Japan and not merely in Japan a lot easier.

This is not typical Erasmus+ program.

This new and unique chapter of your life is about to learn how to listen. You are not tourist anymore. You will become a traveler, “chunk” of the west , which is trying to understand “chunk” of the east.

What can you expect?
Everything.

Buses in the shape of a cats with little bit movement of their tails at the end. Little kids speaking quietly in the restaurant, while they are wearing same Prussian blue uniform made by their elementary school. Chocolate cookie in the shape of Jeff Koons´s object. A lot of people sleeping in the subway, related to casual living room, which has power to move you from Nippori to Yazaike station in fifteen minutes. Girl, dressed like evil panda with her insanely fluffy dog, watching rest of the world from glittery Gucci purse. No garbage. Stalkers. Fish market bigger than your city. Scene from Miyazaki´s movie presented in your life. Respect.

I can say one thing.

These people are little kids with big hearts, thoughts and dreams, which are not afraid to go for them.

Tokyo university of the arts offers big “sniffing” program in Erasmus+. You can sniff to huge variety of departments, techniques. You are your own tutor in that case and you can try everything, what that magical place could offer you. I study at Printmaking department. Even this department offered me nice amount of materials, tremendous abilities, many surprises and generous teachers.

Tokyo university of the arts includes two areas, which are split with zebra crossing to two segments, department of fine arts and department of music. Each building has own cafeteria and dining-hall, which is very important thing for hungry students. University is closed during weekends and there is no theory. It does not mean that students are brainless. University offers a lot of seminars, workshops, discusses with reputable and well-known artists. If you are interested, you can get incredible benefits for your education balance.

It is about you.

Nobody will tell you, what exactly you have to do, where you should be and what time do you need to be somewhere. You are director of your own program in Japan. You can travel a lot and ignore everything what is going on, at university. Honestly, I do not think that you will do that.

Studios offer possibility to learn many traditional techniques. You will have chance to meet masters. They will teach you, how to do everything properly.

And the last thing. If it hurts, university has their own doctor in the area.

Be humble, be respectful, learn to learn and you will never forget about this residence.

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