Living & Learning: Japanese students overseas / Grappling with global issues in the heart of London

Courtesy of Haruka Goto

Haruka Goto, second from left, with fellow members of the research department of the Impact Investing Society

By Haruka Goto (King’s College London) / Special to The Japan NewsThis column features reports by Japanese students currently studying overseas on their lives on and off campus.

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It’s been two years since I embarked on my new life in London as a student at King’s College London. Nevertheless, every day I encounter many new discoveries that cultivate my interests and values in this vibrant and diverse place.

Many people think of the United States as a destination for studying abroad. However, I am proud of the path I decided to take, which led me to Britain, and more specifically, King’s College London. Some British universities offer subject specializations: Students can choose a specific area of interest within a particular field, to study during their degree program. This allows students to focus on a specialization throughout their course of study, in preparation for life as a professional after they graduate. As someone who already had a strong interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR), I was attracted to this aspect of subject specialization that many British universities offer. It was only natural for me to choose King’s College London, as it offered CSR classes for business management students. This was the deciding factor that led me here.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

Studying on the course has opened me up to a series of thought-provoking questions, such as what is justice and where can it be found? In class, we discuss not only real business case studies but also management issues from an academic perspective. I found that while academic theories may appear perfect, they are often ineffective in reality. This dilemma makes me question the existence of a “right decision” in the real world, driving my desire to dive into new environments to seek various ethical viewpoints. I joined the King’s Impact Investing Society, which explores financial methods of tackling global challenges through collective research and discussion. As I work as an associate of the society’s research department, I have learned about a diverse range of ethical standpoints that corporations and investors adopt in relation to social issues. This has deepened my understanding of justice. Moreover, I will be studying at the University of Toronto in Canada next semester, where I plan to take philosophy and ethics classes, and I am looking forward to learning about how ethics differ there.

I have become more proactive as I have wrestled with life’s big questions. It is getting more difficult to predict what lies ahead. However, at the same time it is getting more exciting to think about the possibilities that await me.

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King’s College London

Established by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, King’s College London is one of Britain’s most prestigious university institutions. Notable alumni include the novelists Thomas Hardy and Virginia Woolf.

In partnership with Ryugaku Fellowship


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