55 A Foreign Student in Japan & My New Journey at ELSI


Just another morning in Mongolia...I woke up preparing myself to say good-bye without crying to all of my beloved people at the airport. However, at the same moment of sadness, it was exciting to anticipate what is waiting for me in the new journey of my life in JAPAN. To be honest, before I came here I had no idea about this country except "SUMO", "GREEN TEA" and "EARTHQUAKE". That is why I decided to study in Japan to explore more and to learn new things and to be in new surroundings.

"CULTURE SHOCK", the inevitable for anyone who moves to a different country, happened to me as well. But eventually, I adapted myself trying to understand the cultural differences between Mongolia and Japan, learning to see and gain the benefits of both societies that are so different from one another. Overall, through my 2 years of student life here, if I would have to describe Japan with one word, it would be: yes, "BUSY" :) It is well known that Tokyo Institute of Technology is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, especially in the engineering field, and life here is filled with many challenging activities.

have learnt a lot of new things through my busy student life. I look back and see how independent I have become compared to that girl in Mongolia living at home where her parents did everything for her. Even still, I find new things to learn every day and am trying to grow as an individual in many ways! No doubt that Japan is the right place for this!

OK, now to the story of my visit to ELSI.

The day I visited the ELSI building for the first time, the interior of the first floor had captured my attention. 'SUGOI' interior! I personally have an interest in design so I was moved by the sense of uniqueness and global atmosphere just from the interior atmosphere! In Mongolia, we have a phrase that translates to "How your door or entrance is built anticipates your success." SO based on this phrase, please interpret success!

People of ELSI hold meetings, have their lunch, or just share their ideas with each other in that comfortable open space on the first floor. Researchers and professors from different fields of sciences and from different corners of the earth come together at ELSI and make special synergy to hunt the answers to our most fundamental questions, how did life begin.

Personally, I have always had a diverse cluster of interests. It has always been difficult for me to decide what major and concentration I want to dedicate my studies to because I love learning about everything. After much deliberation, I decided to focus on both natural science and social studies.
In terms of natural science, I chose to learn about origin of life at ELSI through the supervision of Professor Masahiko Hara from whom I actually heard about ELSI for the first time. I have just started participating in a research group at ELSI as a graduate student from this April. Therefore, besides facing some difficulties to understand the things I have never been exposed to before, I have been enjoying the challenge of learning about the different sciences, from planetary, geology to life sciences, represented at ELSI.

In addition to my new involvement in the origin of life studies, I am also pursuing a rigorous major, which is "International Development Engineering" that would hone my analytical skills for a career I choose in Mongolia. Using my engineering background as a base, I would like to expand my knowledge in social sciences more specifically learning global and development issues and how science and technology apply to society. Through this motivation, I hope that I can gain skills to contribute to the development of Mongolia in the future.

I am excited by my new journey to ELSI. Not only am I learning about different areas of science, I am gaining a more complete sense of independence and a curiosity for the world through ELSI's style of international and interdisciplinary research.

For me, ELSI is a one-of-a-kind universe for all sciences.