Shahad Turkistani

Saudi Arabia

Shahad Turkistani (International Affairs & Political Science Double Major, Asian Studies Minor)

What do you like most about living in Japan?

I like the people; they're so nice here. They don't judge me based on how I look and they're always so nice. Of course this is not always the case, but in most cases, I feel very comfortable walking down the street. Plus Japan is just very beautiful.

Do you do any cooking at home? Any Japanese?

When I went to a friend's house, we did some kind of Japanese style cooking. I don't know if it was really Japanese, but I enjoyed it. I should definitely try to learn and cook more of it sometime.

What are some of your favorite Japanese foods?

Tempura. I like tempura. And udon.

What do you plan to do once you graduate?

I'm planning to apply to a master's degree program. I haven't decided in what just yet but comparative religion is something I am interested in.

What are some of your most memorable experiences in Japan?

This is a tough one. Let me think. Okay, I was taking the bus here once and realized that I didn't have any money on me because I left my bag with my brother. So I didn't really know what to do. I was so afraid, you know, and felt really awkward… especially because everyone was looking at me. But I told the bus driver and he was so kind and told me that it was okay and that I didn't have to pay. I think the kindness of the people and the overall safety of this city is what I'll remember the most.

Do you have any advice for new students?

Just know why you are here and focus on your studies. It is also important to be able to manage your time between classes and having fun with friends. Japan is such a nice country, so take some time to explore it.