I am already enjoying the atmosphere in Hirota Lab at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokodai) The major reason I opted for Hirota Lab was because of the world class research that Hirota-sensei has been doing over the years. But besides that, the other major attribute that made me settle for his lab is the international atmosphere in this lab.There are more than 25 students from more than 10 countries.
Apart from Malawi, my nation and Japan, the host nation, other nations represented in this lab include Vietnam, China, Croatia, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Canada, Cuba, Brazil and Peru. I am so far the only member from Sub-Saharan Africa. But I have been informed that a Nigerian student will be joining us in October 2008. This is globalization at its best!
I have so far attended one seminar, where Hirota-sensei was giving general research guidelines for this academic year. On Friday evening, I attended a journal artcle reading session, where one student led the session. We discussed a Robotics paper. After this session, we went for a welcome party organized by the lab where there was a lot of eating and drinking. I was surprised to see that only three of us were not taking alcohol.