2024.01.10 / Interview KIH

[Conversation] The present and future of Komae International House – RA talks about the appeal of Meiji University dormitory life and local exchanges

We asked four people who work as RAs at Meiji University's international exchange dormitory, Komae International House, to freely talk about the present and future, including stories about the dormitory and the city.

Experience as an RA – from the perspective of a Meiji University student

From left:

  • Mr. Seishin ((3rd year, Department of Regional Administration, Faculty of Political Science and Economics, 1st year of RA experience)
  • Mr. Kita (3rd year majoring in theater studies, Faculty of Letters, 2 years RA experience)
  • Mr. Kinoshita ((Faculty of Letters, Department of Literature, Literary Media major, 1 year experience as RA)
  • Mr. Matsumoto (4 years in the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Science and Engineering, 3 years as an RA)

The charm of Komae International House

Mr. Kinoshita: There are many good things about joining Komae International House, butWhat you can do to make friends in the dormitory. I don't think I would have gone if I didn't have any friends, like when the first circle was welcoming new members. Thanks to my friends in the dormitory, I joined a club, and that alone made living in the dormitory a good thing.

Mr. Matsumoto: Certainly! When it comes to entrance ceremonies and welcoming new students, you won't be alone.Advantages of living in a dormitoryright. This cannot happen if you live alone.

Mr. Kinoshita: When I was at my parents' house.Tokyo had a strong image of glare and was scary.Yes. But Komae wasn't glaring at all and was calm, so I was relieved. Also, if you want to go shopping, everything is available.A comfortable place to spend timeI think it 's.

Matsumoto: The location of this place is really amazing. I don't think there are many environments in Tokyo that don't have tall buildings, have greenery, and have the Tama River. liveThe city is also safeI feel that.

Mr. Kinoshita: That's right. I think it's perfect for people who aren't used to the dazzling atmosphere of Tokyo.

Matsumoto: It's easy to spend time and the hurdles are low.Komae is really nice for my first time living in Tokyo..

Mr. Kita:You can walk around town safely at nightI'm glad.

Mr. Kinoshita:Easy to go to schoolYes.

Mr. Matsumoto: That's right. Also, people tend to think that the school is far from the dormitory, but it's actually quite close.It takes about the same amount of time to go door-to-door to both the Ikuta campus and the Izumi campus..

Seishin-san: Also, living in a dormitory is better than living alone.The peace of mind is also appealing.That's right. We feel so safe that our parents say, ``We want you to stay in the dormitory for four years.'' We're all Meiji University students, our friends live here, and security is perfect. What's more, there's also a dormitory manager, so parents can feel very at ease.

Matsumoto-san: I totally understand.Unlike living in an apartment, there are no solicitations coming to your house.And you don't have to interact with people you don't know directly. The dormitory manager protects everything around here, so girls especially can feel safe in terms of crime prevention.

Kita-san: I agree with everyone's opinion. I guess I was able to make friends in the dormitory. We're like family, we're like best friends, we're so special.I made friends that could only be made in the dormitory.That's what I think.

Seishin: Friends in the dormitory have a great sense of distance.

Kita-san: That’s right! It's fun to be able to communicate with neighbors in the countryside, like, ``I had this leftover from my part-time job today, do you need it?''

Seishin: When we moved into the dormitory, there were many restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. I didn't go to university very often, I only took online classes, and I probably wouldn't have made any friends if I hadn't been living in a dorm at that time (lol).Even during the coronavirus pandemic, I was able to have time to meet everyone at the cafeteria, which was a huge relief..

special events and memories

Q.Are there any particularly memorable events?

Mr. Kinoshita: When entering the dormitorycrepe eventI didn't know there was one, so I was very happy when I found out.

Matsumoto-san: As a senior RA, I would be happy if you could praise the crepe event. I originally started this program because I thought it would be fun for new students to have an event like this when they enter the school and move into the dormitory. I worked hard on the exam,I'm finally a university student, so I want you to have fun in the dormitory first.I thought.

Seishin: I also love crepe events, so even if I had to do something for this event, I would come home early. How long has this event been held?

Matsumoto: I believe this is my 8th time doing it, and I do it about 2-3 times a year.

Seishin: It's fun and different from the crepes you eat at restaurants.

Dormitory students participating in the crepe event

Matsumoto: What's interesting is that we can come up with our own menus. It would be interesting to create a system that allows you to create a crepe from scratch, and work with a vendor to create a new crepe.

Kita-san: What's more, what we're currently doing in real time is a project where people put stickers on the table to vote on what kind of crepe they want to eat, and then they actually make the most popular menu item.

Voting posted at the entrance (photographed by reporter)

Mr. Matsumoto: I don't think there are many crepes in the world that the eater can choose. The vendors who cooperate with us are people who like to communicate with people rather than focusing on profit, so they are able to provide students with hearty portions of crepes that will please students at a reasonable price.

Seishin: Before becoming an RA, I was someone who simply enjoyed events.It's become even more fun to become an RA and be the one managing the organization..

The charm of Komae – the warm town and local connections

Kita-san: We came to Tokyo from the countryside, so we had an image of Tokyo as a bit scary, but this...I think the people in Komae City are warm.. When RA asks for help from people in the town, they are very accepting, and there are so many people who are willing to help and offer assistance.

Mr. Matsumoto:One of the charms of this dormitory is the town called Komae.. As the name ``Komae International House'' suggests, people who like international exchange and connecting with other people gather here. The local community accepts these dormitory students, creating a bond between the dormitory and the city. This strength of connection is unique to Komae International House.

Mr. Kita: Yeah, yeah.

Mr. Matsumoto: During events, etc.Collaboration with local restaurantsI've never heard of other dorms being so connected to the local community.

Seishin: Furthermore, dormitory residents can connect with people in the town in unexpected ways.

Mr. Matsumoto:comaecolorA local group called Komaekara held an event for tens of thousands of people, and one of our dormitory students acted as master of ceremonies. The moderator was a member of the Announcement Study Group, and I was surprised and asked, ``When did we have such a connection!?'' (laughs)

Kita-san: And radio!Komae local radioasked me, ``Could you please come out, dormitory student?''actually appear on the radiohey. My dormitory students have appeared on the show several times already.

Dormitory students appearing on Komaraj

Matsumoto: Probably, but it's an advantage because it's the smallest city in Tokyo.Easy to connect with peopleThen,strong connectionI think so.

Kita-san: I often feel that I am always helped by the relationships I have with the people in the city. And thatIt’s great that the connection is a continuous relationship.I think so.

Mr. Matsumoto: The fact that the city hall is also supporting this dormitory is a big factor. I have been indebted to many people through my RA activities, but I never thought that I would move into the dormitory and form connections with the administration (lol).

Mr. Seishin: Even compared to when I moved into the dormitory as a first year student, I feel that my ties to the local community are stronger now. I think this is thanks to my senior RAs, Mr. Matsumoto and Mr. Kita.The connections made by my seniors have expanded rapidly and now extend to all dormitory residents.Impression.

Matsumoto: That's also because the town of Komae accepted me. In addition, I think Komae City as a whole was already changing as a city by the time we entered the school.

Mr. Seishin: I see.

Matsumoto: The area around the station used to be a calm environment, but we renovated it, added more terrace seating, and made sure that food trucks were always gathering.Trying to create liveliness in front of the stationright. In addition to this, we are also focusing on protecting the rich natural environment.

Mr. Kinoshita: This may be a bit off-topic, but I think more people will live at Komae International House, learn about the greatness of Komae, and continue to live here after graduation. me tooThe city is so nice that it makes you think, ``I want to continue living in this city.''That's why, even if I can't really live in Komae in the future, my love for this city will remain the same. That's why I hope the number of people living in Komae will increase even after we graduate.

Mr. Matsumoto:The place where the dormitory is located is my second homeThat's right. From what I heard from the residents, it seems that there are many people who come back after leaving Komae after entering the workforce.

The future of Komae and the dreams of dormitory residents

Mr. Matsumoto: In the future, I would like to use the vacant houses in Komae to do something that will lead to the development of the town.

Kita-san: I can earn the trust and peace of mind of the people in town.“Komaedoryo Brand”I would like to see more and more things like this permeate the city.

Matsumoto-san: We're currently receiving inquiries from social welfare organizations asking if we would like to run smartphone classes for grandparents. that tooWe were approached because of the Komaeryo brand that we have had so far.I think. The only thing left to see is how big of a circle this project can be made with the cooperation of the government.

Seishin: Originally, I had never been interested in town planning or the region, but after living in Komae, I learned that the people in the town were all nice people, and I became interested in town planning and the region. I started to feel like it was fun. I am in the futureI want to contribute to the community while doing the work I want to do.That's what I think.

Mr. Matsumoto: I am an architecture major, but since I started getting involved with the people of Komae town as an RA,I realized that what I wanted to do was not build or design houses, but work in town development and urban planning.Yo. He said he liked thinking and creating things together with various people.

Mr. Kinoshita: Compared to my seniors, I don't have a clear vision of my future at all. However, I do have a desire to get a job writing. Although there is no connection between my RA activities and the job I want to have, I would like to learn about the events and projects that have taken place at Komae Dormitory, and how to connect with people in the town.I want to take it back to my hometown in the futureI think.

Mr. Matsumoto: Rather than having a part-time job, writing a graduation thesis, and graduating from university,I had the opportunity to experience many encounters that would only be possible in this dormitory in Komae.Therefore, I can proudly say that living in this dormitory was definitely my unique university life.

Extra edition: Perspectives of Ikuta Campus students

Approximately half of Komae International House students are Ikuta campus students, but are there any differences in student life between science and liberal arts students? We asked all the RAs.

Mr. Matsumoto: I am also at the Ikuta campus, but after all,Quite a lot of people commute between the lab and their homes.I guess it's an image. An image of many people who are passionate about research!

Mr. Seishin: Liberal arts students gather in the cafeteria or entrance to study during their catch-up session before a test, but architecture students do this not only before a test, but from early on in their first and second years.An image of people getting together and working together.There is.

Mr. Matsumoto: This is because there are quite a lot of problems in architecture that students have to solve together in groups from the time they are in their first year. In that senseYou can easily “study in the cafeteria and submit assignments together”I guess that's the advantage of living in a dormitory. She thinks it's hard when she lives alone.

Seishin: We thought it was kind of cool to see science-minded people working together (lol).

Mr. Matsumoto:The campuses are separate for science and liberal arts, so unless you live in a dormitory, you can't see what each other is doing.right. If you live in a dormitory, you can talk to a variety of people across the boundaries between science and liberal arts majors, so it can be an opportunity for you to think, ``I'm interested in this liberal arts class, so I'll give it a try,'' or for example, if you ask a liberal arts major about your story. After receiving it, I came up with new ideas, etc.The reason why there are so many different connections is because it is a dormitory.I think that.

(Text: Tanaka Bunko / Photography: Tetsu Shirahama / Interview: Yasuhiro Nishi)

*The undergraduate year and content in the article are as of the time of reporting in November 2023.

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