Category Archives: Living

Recycling Market 2020: A Treasure Trove For New and Old Students Alike

Each year, the NAIST Global Student Network (GSK) Recycling Clubs hosts the Recycling Market with the aim of helping old and graduating students dispose of reusable and good condition appliances and providing support to new local and international students in helping them furnish their dormitory. This year’s event was hosted last April 2, 2020 at Dorm 1 East Wing. 

The GSK Recycling Club strongly coordinates with the International Student Affairs Division which allows them to inform incoming students and to schedule the event at the beginning of the semester to welcome new students and provide support at the start of their graduate studies.

Donations are usually received from old and graduating students. Lots of choices for new NAIST to student to kickstart their student life!

As a new student in NAIST, one of the initial challenges coming to a new country  was purchasing needed appliances to furnish my dormitory. Having the GSK Recycling Market was a godsend event. Not only did it reduce the financial burdens of allocating my budget to new appliances for my dormitory and at the same time, I also got to know other students and made new friends.

The line started even before the venue opened and many new students were eager to get a hold of useful items that they can use for their stay in NAIST. Given the current COVID situation at this time, the event organizers also made it a point to provide guidelines such as only having one person at a time in the storage area to look for an item, and providing hand sanitizer for the participants. 

A happy student finding the rice cooker of her choice!

Lots of items were stocked and were ready for the taking for whoever is in need of them. Students happily picked items that they needed ranging from induction cookers, microwaves, ovens, and refrigerators. GSK members readily assisted the students when handling large appliances. This year’s event was successful both in terms of donation volume and providing for the demand of incoming students. Given the huge amounts of donated items, GSK prompted a re-run the following week, on April 6, 2020. 

Getting your ideal fridge type for your dorm is always a good reason for a thumbs up!

Transitions are hard and scary especially for students coming from abroad. However, it does not have to be difficult as the NAIST community works hand in hand to provide assistance for new students to make an easier transition towards their life as graduate students.  This upcoming October 2020 marks another semester with new incoming students, we hope to see you in the next run of this event! 

Home away from Home: NAIST Student Dormitory

Graduate schools are often located several miles away from home, and sometimes demand long laboratory hours. NAIST is no different, and its on-campus dormitory is the perfect students’ haven.

There are eight student dormitory buildings at NAIST. Two are dedicated for married couples and families, while six are for single occupants. Among the six single-occupant dormitory buildings, half are male-exclusive. For the other half, some upper floors are allotted for female students. In total, there are 559 single, 50 couple and 10 family rooms available for occupation.

Every single room has a single bed, a desk with chair, and often an air conditioning unit
It is also equipped with a closet, as well as a telephone, which can be used to contact the room from a telephone unit outside the dormitory building.

A single room is about 13 m2, which includes a bed, a desk with chair, a closet, a kitchenette, a toilet and a small veranda. Shared spaces are also available in each single-occupant dormitory building. Combined bathroom and laundry areas are situated at every floor, which contains three shower rooms, three washing machines, and a coin dryer. There is also a lounge at every dormitory building, where student parties and casual hangouts are often held.

A small veranda for getting a breath of fresh air.
A toilet of your own can also be found inside.
A kitchenette with sink and gas stove is also installed. Gas supply, though, needs to be outsourced.
Laundry and bathroom areas are placed at every floor.

Rooms for married couples and families, on the other hand, are around 40 to 50 m2 large, and additionally include their own laundry space, bathroom, shoe cupboard, and a dining table. However, there are no shared spaces.   

Parking spaces are also available in all dormitory buildings. Available slots cover roughly 75% of the residents.

For the duration of their master’s or doctoral program, full-time regular course students are eligible for a slot in these NAIST on-campus dormitories. Students who can avail of a dormitory slot are mainly selected based on entrance examination results, but other factors such as distance from the students’ hometowns are also considered. Significantly priced cheaper than accommodations outside campus, the NAIST dormitory is definitely both affordable and convenient for international and Japanese students alike.

In April 2021, NAIST is set to open a shared apartment-type dormitory for Japanese and international students. Its aim is to develop mutual understanding of various cultures, which can prepare the students for entering a global society that awaits them after graduation.

NAIST International Student Ambassador Program

Just in time for leaves to slowly turn from green to orange, another fall term starts afresh. This year, NAIST is all set to welcome new international students as the Center for International Students and Scholars (CISS) steps up in making them feel at home by launching the International Student Ambassador Program.  Continue reading NAIST International Student Ambassador Program

International Student Welcome Party (Spring 2018)

(Featured photo provided by International Student Affairs staff)

How do you start your new life at NAIST?  Becoming a new student at a new university is like beginning a new chapter of a book. A lot of people learn new skills from classrooms. They also gain new experiences from their new friends. Many students know more about their goals in life. It seems like everything in the new university is the beginning of a new journey!

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A clean and beautiful environment at NAIST. Photo by Pattaraporn Tulathum

At the opening of every semester, there are many new Japanese students and international students who begin their studies at NAIST. For this spring semester, the first week of April has many events for new students. For example, there is an orientation for all students, the TOEIC-IP test, and the entrance ceremony. On the other hand, some events are prepared specifically for international students. One of which is the International Students Welcome Party.

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[April 5th, 2018] The Entrance Ceremony begins! Photo by Pattaraporn Tulathum


The welcome party for new international students was held on the evening of Friday (April 11) hosted by the International Student Affairs Division. More than 40 new students from different countries joined this event. These students included Master students, Doctoral students, and Research students. In addition, some of the tutors, who will take care of the new international students for the first 3 months, joined in the fun, too.

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Participating international students were waiting for the upcoming party.  Photo by International Student Affairs staff

This party began with a warm welcome from the Vice President of NAIST and all of the staff. The atmosphere was energetic yet friendly.

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Prof. Kakiuchi, Vice President of NAIST, welcomed new international students at the beginning of this party. Photo by International Student Affairs staff

Participating students introduced themselves to each other. They enjoyed talking with staff members and other students who have also just arrived from overseas.

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Everyone introduced themselves, interests, and hobbies. Photo by International Student Affairs staff

After the ceremony, participants had dinner together.  There were a variety of foods including Japanese food, halal food, snacks, and drinks. While having dinner, everyone also enjoyed light conversations.

After ceremony section, we had dinner together. Photo by International Student Affairs staff

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There were a variety of food and snacks for all! Photo by Pattaraporn Tulathum

That was fun! We look forward to a lot of activities like this within the school year. Hope to see you in the next one!

The Secret Sauce to Recycling Success

The NAIST Global Student Network (GSK) is on a mission to save the environment, and some students’ wallets along the way. The GSK reopened the Recycling Market last April 2 to 4, and we had the opportunity to have a look and a quick interview with the head of the event. Despite the many challenges, this year’s run of the Recycling Market is one of the most successful yet!

Continue reading The Secret Sauce to Recycling Success

International Friendship Meeting 2018

NAIST has a strong web of support for its 25% international student population. The annual International Friendship Meeting, is a celebration of international exchange, diverse friendships, and gratitude for everyone’s efforts to make the NAIST international community a very welcoming environment. Guests from all around Nara gathered at the Millennium Hall on January 23 to celebrate.

Continue reading International Friendship Meeting 2018