I am Augustine MARA from Papua New Guinea in the Pacific. I am a teacher by profession, having been taught in various school systems in PNG since 2005. I last taught Mathematics in Sacred Heart Teachers’ College – Bomana in Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea before enrolling in the graduate school here at Naruto University of Education.

I am one of the fortunate recipient of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICAs) prestigious scholarship as a Masters candidate to study in Naruto University of Education for the post graduate studies in the Global Education Program.

I came to Japan on the 27th of October 2021, as a research student for the first six months. I successfully completed my entrance exam and got enrolled as a Masters student in March 2022. I am expecting to complete my graduate studies in March 2024 if all is well.

Life here in Japan was challenging at first as I was new to everything here, however as time goes by I slowly but surely got used to it and managed it accordingly. I met a lot of new friends from the developing countries in the world as well as Japan and China. Besides, the Japanese friends are so kind and helpful. So I find time socializing with them and they helped me, socially, physically and even academically. Most importantly my Academic Supervisor, Professor Kusaka gave me constructive advices on my academic life, especially about my graduate research.

Winter season was very challenging around December. The temperature went as far as negative degrees which I could hardly manage as I come from the tropical country having only wet and dry seasons with the temperature ranging from 32 – 23 degrees. Despite the challenges, it was also a great experience of a life time. During the cold freezing days, I enjoyed the snow falls. After winter, comes spring, I begin to see Sakura blooming everywhere in Naruto which really put a lot of smile on my face.

All in all, I consider myself fortunate to be in this part of the world to further my education in such a prestigious University in Japan. I love the environment here as it is friendly, conducive, quiet and peaceful. Naruto University of Education is surrounded by the beautiful seas, few mountains with temperate forests.  The scene is breathtaking and so I enjoyed every bit of my life as student now and hopefully going forward into the future.


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