Sharing from Students

An Exchange Program at Ochanomizu University, Japan

Students in Department of Development and Sustainability (DDS) have the opportunity to participate in exchange programs with other universities outside Thailand.

This year, we have 2 students who are sharing the experience from the exchange program at Ochanomizu University, Japan.

Please find the interview below:

We went to Yokohama to experience the aged and homeless population. This city is known as ‘Town for everyone’. In addition, this welfare town helping the children by providing after school service meaning those parents are unable to care after school this organization will help them. Another quote took my attention by Mr Ishii (Host from that organization, Yokohama)- ‘Lower you go, more cooperation you get’. Meaning in Japan poor population helping other poor to survive.

Ms.Meheri Tamanna,
GDS, PhD Student

Q: Please introduce yourself

A: I am Meheri Tamanna. I have completed my master’s in Public Administration (University of Dhaka, Bangladesh) and second masters in Development Studies (ISS, Netherlands). Currently I am a PhD student in Gender and Development Studies at DDS/AIT and my advisor is Professor Kyoko Kusakabe from Gender and Development Studies (GDS)

Q: How do you know an exchange program in DDS/AIT?

A: First, I heard it from my fellow class mates after I started my course work. Then this year we got an email from the department indicating about this opportunity. 

Q: How to prepare yourself when you know an exchange program?

A: I have prepared myself by checking the criteria of application. And based on the requirements before applying I checked Ochanomizu University website to get an idea of faculty interests which could be helpful to develop my PhD proposal. 

Q: Any support from your advisor before you apply for an exchange program?

A: My advisor encouraged me very positively to apply for this exchange programme.

Q: Do any support from DDS/AIT for preparing yourself before you are an exchange student?

A: DDS connected me with the host from Ochanomizu University and the host was extremely cooperative regarding issuing acceptance letter and other documents

Q: How long you are an exchange student? and where is your living?

A: We visited there for seven days. From 27th of June to 4th of July 2019. I stayed in a dormitory. It was clean and full of necessary equipment people usually need for everyday life. Like, fridge, T.V, electric kettle, cooker, hair dryer etc.

Q: Who is your advisor and program at the host university? 

A: Institute of gender Studies in Ochanomizu University was the main host. And Ms Kaori Takahashi was the advisor from the university who helped us with the meeting and other events. I have presented my PhD proposal. The main concept is urban poverty and the precarious life. 

Q: Is an exchange program helps you to improve your research topic in DDS/AIT?​

A: Yes, it is. My research topic is related. And this exchange helped me to explore a new dimension of poverty in developed country.​

Q: How about your new friends at the host university?​

A: New friends are extremely cooperative, polite and friendly.

Q: What are the benefits that you got from an exchange program of DDS/AIT?


  • New concept of poverty which is different from developing countries
  • How government is dealing with precariat population (aged and homeless) in Japan.
  • How children can be taking care of after school (whom parents are working/single)
  • The growing acceptance of LGBT and Transgender issues in Japan. How they are dealing these issues.
  • How Transgender population can be accepted in the main society

Q: Is an exchange program good for you and anyone? and Do you want to recommend the prospective student who is making a decision?

A: This is a wonderful experience for anyone. I will recommend them to take part even if it is for short time.

Q: Is an exchange program helps you to improve your research topic in DDS/AIT?​

A: Yes, it is. My research topic is related. And this exchange helped me to explore a new dimension of poverty in developed country.​

Q: Please explain your experience from an exchange program.​

A: It was a new and exciting experience for me. I have not only learnt different issues but also a got an idea of Japanese culture, norms, values and food.

And I would like to thank DDS/AIT for this great opportunity. For this opportunity I got different experiences which might not be possible if I didn’t get/take this opportunity.