Japońska przygoda, ale i wyzwanie – roczne stypendium dla studentki UŁ

Julianna Świć, a student of Asian Studies at the Faculty of International and Political Studies, University of Lodz will go to Japan for a year as part of the prestigious Josai Central European Scholarship Programme, run by Josai International University (JIU).

Julianna Świć

During the scholarship, she will study Japanese and study at the Faculty of International Humanities Josai International University, where classes are held in English. The university is located in the town of Togane, about 50 km east of Tokyo. 
The funder of the scholarship declares paying Julianna Świć the amount of 80 thousand yen (100 yen = 3.2 zlotys) per month for living expenses during a period of 11 months. The scholarship holder is committed to active and regular involvement in official events, such as conferences, meetings organised by the Josai International University, events related to the promotion of cooperation between Japan and countries from the Visegrad group. The scholarship holder also agrees to accept mentor functions and teach Polish at the Joasai International University.

Great joy of the lover of Japanese culture
When I found out that I was qualified for the scholarship, I started crying out of joy and excitement. After two years of the pandemic, restrictions, remote (online) learning, isolation - such news! – says Julianna Świć, a 20-year-old student of the first year of Asian Studies at the University of Lodz. – Moreover, it happens rarely that scholarship funders choose such young people.

In this case, however, the choice was not accidental. Julianna Świć has been fascinated with Japanese culture and art since the age of 13. It started with anime movies that her dad suggested to her. These were mostly productions of the well-known Studio Ghibli Inc. – "The Tomb of Fireflies", "Princess Mononoke", "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya". Then it was time for manga, comics and picture stories, collecting Japanese dolls, learning Japanese as part of extracurricular activities in one of junior high schools of Lodz. And finally – after the matura exam (baccalaureate) and exam in the music school (piano) – choosing Asian Studies at the University as the next stage of education. 

Today, the interests of the UL student are dominated by the more "adult" sphere of Japanese culture. Her favorite writers from the Land of Cherry Blossoms include Osamu Dazai, Ranpo Edogawa, Jun'ichiro Tanizaki. She is not a fan of Haruki Murakami, a famous and internationally regarded author, though. She also loves contemporary films by Japanese directors: Hirokazu Kore-eda ("Our Little Sister", "Like Father, Like Son", "After the Storm"), Tetsuya Nakashima ("Confessions"), Yasujiro Ozu ("Early Summer"), and director Naomi Kawase ("Cherry Blossom and Red Beans"). 

On a daily basis, she tries to stay in touch with Japanese culture associations operating in Lodz and Poland, corresponds with representatives of Polonia in Japan. Recently she has become friends with Kazuma Ishio – a Japanese astrophysicist,UL IDUB scholarship holder, cooperating in Lodz with prof. Julian Sitarek from the Faculty of Physics and Applied Informatics of the University of Lodz.

Congratulations from the Rector of the University of Lodz and the trip of a lifetime to Japan
Julianna Świć is a cheerful, exuberant, sociable person, whose parents support her in her extraordinary passion. Until now, she has never travelled by plane – planned travel was made impossible due to the pandemic. Therefore, a scholarship expedition to Japan will allow her to gain, in addition to numerous scientific and cultural experiences, another life experience – a long-haul flight to Tokyo. She intends to share her impressions of her stay as part of scholarship in Japan on a blog or YouTube channel.

The University of Lodz Rector, prof. Elżbieta Żądzińska has congratulated the new scholarship holder. In her letter to Julianna Świć, she wrote: 

I am very pleased to congratulate you on your success in the Josai Central European Scholarship Programme competition for scholarship. I know this isn't your first success in university competitions. I am glad that after the opportunity to learn English (Youth in Lodz scholarships), now it’s time for Japanese.
Make the most out of this trip – scientifically, but also culturally. I hope that this experience will allow you to grow personally and will inspire many positive actions in the future. We look forward to your reports from Japan and see you in a year!

Simultaneously, in a letter addressed to Kenji Sugibayashi (Ph.D.), President of the Josai International University, thanking for choosing a student of the University of Lodz to the scholarship programme, the UL Rector wrote, among others: 

The possibility of such an academic exchange is an extremely valuable element of accomplishing the mission of internationalisation of the University of Lodz and raising our academic rank in the world. Thank you for being our close partner and making it possible for the University of Lodz students to explore the world and develop. 

University of Lodz remains open to Japanese students and researchers who would like to come to Poland to study or implement scientific projects. One of your compatriots, dr Kazuma Ishio, has been recently working with one of our leading astrophysicists. 
I hope that Ms. Julianna's stay at your university will enable the Japanese side to get to know the Polish culture better and encourage you to expand this cooperation.


It is worth mentioning that Julianna Świć, as the Rector of the University of Lodz wrote in her letter to Julianna, has already been among the winners of the Youth in Lodz scholarship programme implemented by the City of Lodz Office – she was then given the opportunity to participate in the English language course funded by the University of Lodz.

For sure there will be plenty of sensations and new experiences during the scholarship in Japan. Mateusz, also a student of the University of Lodz, recipient of the Mizuta Scholarship Programme (the previous name of the scholarship programme in which Julianna Świć will now participate) has had a chance to find out about it. He has described his impressions related to his stay in Japan on Facebook: Wyjazdy zagraniczne studentów UŁ [Foreign trips of University of Lodz students].

Edit: Promotion Centre of the University of Lodz

Photo: Bartosz Kałużny