Global Students and Faculty

  
Expanding Potential: engagement
SHILLAW Mark Ryo, College of Liberal Arts, sophomore (at the time of interview)

Major in Politics

Self-discovery through engagement

There are so many opportunities at ICU, such as in classes and at various events, in which it is possible to experience real engagement--becoming completely absorbed in the matter at hand. For me, my first encounter with engagement came in the form of the New Student Retreat. In keeping with the principles of ICU, the purpose of this orientation trip is to provide a deeper understanding of liberal arts education and its curricula. Freshmen and faculty lodge together, and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. On that trip, I was engaged in various kinds of administrative work. So even though I was still a student, I was somehow regarded as a member of staff, and the whole experience was a lot of fun.

I was also involved as a staff member at the Student Camp of the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia (ACUCA). There, I was able to share thoughts and ideas with students from other Asian countries. That firsthand experience of their energy, dynamism and English proficiency later gave me considerable motivation.

Now, I immerse myself in political science. Around the time when I entered this university, I had rather idealistic notions of wanting to choose peace studies as my major. But then when I attended the classes that introduced politics, my whole outlook on things began to change, and I decided to make politics my major.

In politics, we learn to adopt viewpoints regarding the power structure or the economy and how problems relating to inequality or irrationality might be resolved. I'm half-British, half-Korean. I was born and raised in Japan, but I have British nationality. As a result, at one time I went through a phase of being rather unsure of my own identity. In September, I'm going to study in my mother country--at Sheffeld University in England. I want to learn about international points of view related to the hierarchy of identity and politics. At the same time, I aim to prepare for study at a graduate school overseas.

There are many opportunities at ICU, but it all depends on you. Here, I have been able to find myself. Many of my fellow students have also been able to properly discover their own individualities. And I would definitely recommend that all of you likewise come to find yourselves here at ICU.