Messages from Current Students

Release date:2024.03.22

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
- Gandhi

Yaya Yao

Design Futures Course(Graduate)
  • McGill University, Faculty of Arts, International Development Studies (B.A. Hons.)/
  • University of Toronto, Faculty of Education, Secondary School Education (B.Ed., History, Language Arts, TESOL)/
  • University of Ottawa, Faculty of Education, Second Language Education (M.Ed.)/
  • Entered the Doctoral Program of Department of Design, Graduate School of Design, Kyushu University in 2022/
Related department, course
  • Design Futures Course (Undergraduate)
  • Design Futures Course (Graduate)

The reason why I chose the Graduate School of Design

I chose the Faculty of Design because there is a professor here, Dr. Mia Nakamura that I really wanted to work with. I was lucky that she was able to accept me as her student. Geiko seemed like a great place to explore my research interests in a supportive and flexible environment. The location is convenient, and it seems to have a fairly open and relaxed atmosphere.

My most memorable class

In the "zemi" with my labmates, we discuss each other's research projects to improve and deepen our work. Through these discussions, we offer our views and opinions on each other's work. This helps us clarify the strengths and areas for improvement of each of our studies. I like the opportunity to share perspectives in a respectful and collegial environment.

My student life

After working for 20 years, it is great being a full-time student again. Although I am juggling school along with family (I have a young child), part-time teaching, and freelance work, it is exciting to have the opportunity to deepen my understanding of my professional experiences through study. I'm enjoying meeting researchers from around the world at conferences and other events. It's also interesting studying in Japan, which is very different from studying in Canada or Hong Kong, where I did an exchange many years ago. It might be more similar to Singapore, where I did another exchange, or Thailand, where I taught nursing students more recently.

Message to prospective students

Find your "learning edge." Comfort and a sense of safety is important for good learning, and so is challenge and risktaking. What is the "edge" of your comfort zone? If you can find that place, you can find your balance between comfort and challenge. This is a very personal thing, so you're the expert. The more you stay on your learning edge, the bigger your comfort zone will become, and the more you will broaden your perspective.