Over 22 thousand foreign students are currently studying in Iran. Home to about 1500 foreign students from 20 countries, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad has the highest number of international students among Iranian universities.
Kentaro Yano is a 22 year old Japanese student who has been in Iran for about two months and is currently learning Persian at the Persian Language Center of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Currently, only 3 Japanese students are studying at FUM, one of whom is Yano.
Kentaro Yano says: I was interested in Persian language since my adolescence. The main reason for my interest was that Persian is written from right to left, whereas Japanese is written from left to right. However, Persian and Japanese grammar have some similarities. For instance, in both languages, the verb comes at the end of the sentence.
Yano continued: When I lived in Japan, I studied Persian Language and Literature at the Faculty of Foreign Language Studies, but my excessive interest led me towards choosing Iran as my academic destination.
Talking about his mental image of Iran before coming here, Yano said: “as a university student in Japan, I had some studies about the history and culture of Iran. I had also heard that Iran is highly advanced in Medical Sciences and Iranians are kind and hospitable, but I liked to travel to Iran and experience all the things that I had read or heard of”.
The Iranian culture is not very different from the Japanese
In the early days of my stay in Iran, I was very surprised by some of the aspects of the Iranian culture. In fact, I had studied about the Iranian culture at my university in Japan and it did not take me very long to get accustomed to this culture. The Iranian culture is not very different from the Japanese.
Teacher-student relationship in Iran is better than Japan
Kentaro Yano said, “Teacher-student relationship in Iran is better than Japan, where students do not contact their teachers through telephone or telegram and only use short text messages. However, in Iran, these forms of communication are widely used. In fact, in Japan, neither students nor teachers like to establish friendly relationships with one another.
I will recommend studying in Iran to my fellow countrymen
This Japanese student at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad said, “I will recommend studying in Iran to my fellow countrymen, because many of my classmates in Japan are not familiar with Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. I will definitely tell them about the advantages of studying at this university. I love the Persian language and the Iranian people and I’m currently very happy with my conditions in Iran and Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.
Yano added, “During the time of my stay in Iran and study at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, I have established friendly relationships with Iranians and they are also very forward to get friends with me. Yano said: I love Iran, but I miss my family and call them every day. My father is a retired employee of the trade office and my mother is a housewife. I also have a younger sister. I plan to go to Japan three months later and meet my family.
Speaking about the role of Japanese students in the major decisions of their country, Yano said, “In the past, Japanese students did not play a major role in my country, but they have recently become more sensitive towards national issues and they sometimes uphold some protests. However, participation rate is still very low. In fact, one of the major challenges of the Japanese government is the low rate of participation in country-wide elections. The main focus of the Japanese state is on fundamental sciences and engineering and humanities is often neglected.
Kentaro Yano ends the interview by talking about his country: Japanese people are very hard-working and they allocate a large amount of time to work. They work 8 hours a day and many of them work until midnight. We do not have an ideal social condition in Japan. This has become more notable from when I came to Iran and compared the Iranians to the Japanese. I think it’s better for the Japanese to take it easier on themselves and take more rest.