Source and photos: http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/memories/2006-03_jp-tokyo_phd-graduation.htm
I graduated from the doctoral course of 総合研究大学院大学 (Sokendai) at the university campus in 葉山 (Hayama, Japan) on 24 March 2008, and attended a related ceremony at 国立情報学研究所 (National Institute of Informatics) in 東京 (Tokyo) on 28 March during which I received a commemorative medal. The first ceremony gathered graduates of that semester from partner research institutes all over Japan, whatever their field; the second gathered only information technology graduates from my institute. These events ended my studies in computer science after three years of study and research in Japan under the supervision of 橋爪宏達 (HASHIZUME Hiromichi).
I received my diploma after the redaction of my thesis in English, a final presentation in front of all my thesis committee members, and the publication of my research in a scientific journal and at several international conferences. I am satisfied with the topic of my research (human fundamental needs in wearable computing) and with my achievements at 総合研究大学院大学 (Sokendai) and 国立情報学研究所 (National Institute of Informatics) considering that I spoke no Japanese when I came.
These three years were a great experience: it was my first long-term stay abroad, I learnt much, and I pondered about life; however I was socially unsatisfied. I visited famous places, attended festivals, and learnt Japanese; I can now discuss everyday topics without much trouble. As a novice scientist, I spent numerous weekdays reading about computers, people and the environment, using the excellent digital library of the institute. This new life gave me time and materials to think about what I want to accomplish in the long-term, what I want to do on a daily basis, what I want to experience, and where I want to live; answers still elude me but I fortunately clarified what I do not want. I just regret that the institute had so few students (60?) on site and that it was difficult to make friends with the Japanese, get to know them, and spend time together, which contrasts much with my stay in Seattle (United States of America) from July to September 2005.
Now, I hope to get a motivating and enriching job in Japan, properly learn the language, experience the culture in depth, and visit the country.