"My Overseas Education and Research in Canada"

KONISHI Mariko November 6, 2012

"My Overseas Education and Research in Canada"

I am Mariko Konishi, a graduate student of the Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences at Ritsumeikan University, and also a research fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Now I am working on my dissertation which focuses on co-dependence (which means human dependent relationship or symptom toward it, and comes from an alcoholic clinic in the U.S.) from the ethical viewpoint. As a graduate research trainee I am going to deepen my knowledge at the Department of Philosophy at McGill University in Canada until July 2013.

There are three reasons why I am here at McGill University now. First, there are many great professors not only of philosophy and ethics, but also of psychology and sociology, which closely relates to my research field. Therefore, by meeting them and learning from their different perspectives I will be able to apply what I learn to my future research. By doing so, my research will become more creative. Second, since my research theme is originally from North America, I can get a lot of information here which is useful for my future research. Finally, here in Montreal, I can study both English and French because it is in the French speaking province (Quebec), which enables me to improve my foreign language skill.

Since I came to McGill University at the end of August, I have attended moral, psychology and sociology courses and enjoyed them very much. Professors are helpful and I often draw appropriate advice concerning my research from them. As time passes, I make use of the professorsf office hours without hesitation, which provides me instructive experiences. Especially Prof. Philip Buckley, my supervisor at McGill, has supported me very much. He has helped improving my recent English article for publication, and always gives wonderful advice for my future research. Moreover, there are many valuable books, materials and data at the McGill Library. It includes over 6 million items. What amazes me is that it has thousands of e-journals and e-books, which enables me to get many materials I cannot get in Japan easily.

Until the end of this December, my main objective is improving my communication skill. I have a lot of difficulties talking with other students in English (or French). They speak too fast and often their speaking gbroken English (or French)h is very difficult for me to understand. Especially, during discussions I often have difficulties following them. Therefore, I also attend an English and French language school. Other students seem to listen to and speak very well compared with me, although they do not know grammar very well. Because the Japanese education system requires us to use the foreign language correctly, it often prevents me from speaking English due to my fear of speaking English without perfect grammar. In order to overcome these problems, I make an effort to speak without worrying about grammar or get accustomed to talking with Canadian graduate students (not only of McGill University but also of Concordia University and Montreal University). In addition, I also take advantage of a language exchange meeting. Through these experiences, I also learn cultural differences as well as language itself, which interests me a lot.

From this January, I would like to concentrate on my research theme. Especially, I am planning to meet Prof. Carol Gilligan, well-known scholar on the ethics of care, and also professor at New York University at the end of January. As my research theme relates to her work, I am quite sure it is a valuable opportunity for me to meet her and learn from her.

I am very glad to be here at McGill University. I deeply appreciate many people who support me here, and who give this opportunity to me.

iMcGill Universityj
(With Prof. Philip Buckley)

UPFNovember 6, 2012@REV: December 5, 2012@December 10, 2012
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