|Visiting period||August to November 2016|
|Visiting university||Singapore University of Technology and Design|
|Visiting country and region||Singapore|
Content of the study program
I studied at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) for three months under this program. During my time at SUTD, I designed a method to easily construct fluorocarbon resin micro-channels. Because fluorocarbon resins are highly drug resistant, micro-channels made from this material can accommodate drugs that conventional micro-channels cannot. However, conventional techniques to construct fluorocarbon resin micro-channels require a clean room and specialized knowledge. I developed a method to easily construct micro-channels by combining a cutting plotter and pressure joining technique.
By designing a research plan, my ability to follow-through on the research as well as my presentation skills in English improved. To complete my project on such a short timeline, the research plan had to be solid and the next experiment was planned based on the results of the initial experiment. Since I was pursuing a number of simultaneous research objectives, I selectively chose the experiments that I estimated would produce results in order to use my time effectively.
Initially, I was not very comfortable giving presentations in English, and my first presentation at SUTD was not well received. However, my English skills improved through daily conversations, enhancing my ability to explain my research. In fact, I received compliments from my supervisor about my ability to explain my work during my final presentation at SUTD.
My experience abroad
The best experience abroad was the friendships that I developed. My goals with the exchange program included conducting research, improving my English skills, and experiencing a different culture. Since my research was independent, my opportunities to speak in English were limited. Therefore, I joined the Japanese language and badminton clubs, allowing me to make friends and improve my English skills while participating in enjoyable activities. Additionally, I learned about the history of Singapore, ate the local food, and experienced the culture of Singapore first hand. Some of my new friends are planning to visit me in Japan, providing further opportunities to improve my English.
Influence on my future career
Until now, I had not considered completing a PhD. However, SUTD had many PhD candidates and post-docs. The time I spent doing research among the PhD candidates and post-docs as well as seeing the way they give pertinent advice has made me reconsider pursuing a PhD.
My ability to take action improved through the experience of the exchange program, especially due to my involvement in the aforementioned clubs and traveling to a nearby country on my own. There are many attractive countries to visit near Singapore, and I thought it was a good opportunity to travel alone. Although there were roadblocks such as the fact that I had never traveled abroad alone and that I only had three months in Singapore, I took action. It was not always fun, especially when some locals demanded money from me, but it was an amazing experience unlike any I have had in Japan. I have no regrets regarding my decision to travel.