This blog was contributed by Kayuko Ikemizu, a student on the English Language and Academic Studies Programme (ELAS) at SOAS.

I studied on ELAS for ten months as an exchange student from Ochanomizu University, Japan.

When I came to SOAS, I was in my second year and had been studying Global Studies in Japan. I would like to contribute to global development in the future, so I wanted to improve my English skills and study subjects which are related to my course by studying on ELAS.

This course gave me a lot of skills and ideas which will aid my study in Japan. Before I started this course, I could not write academic style essays or express my opinion in a class. However, writing essays and participating in discussions on the ELAS course were really helpful for me to overcome my weaknesses and improve my English skills.

Discussion-based Social Science classes, which I took as an academic subject, encouraged me to explore the topics of each class in more depth every week. The topics discussed in these Social Science classes are related to international political economy and development studies, and this interesting experience will definitely help my future studies.

This year of studying on ELAS has been the most precious year to improve my skills and face many new challenges.

The lovely location of SOAS gave me many interesting opportunities. For example, I volunteered at a local community garden which my friend introduced to me. I could interact with local people and learn about environmental problems and a sustainable lifestyle there. Additionally, I did an internship at a Japanese start-up company where I experienced working abroad and learnt some IT skills.

This year of studying on ELAS has been the most precious year to improve my skills and face many new challenges. I would like to come back to SOAS to study more in the future.

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