RESEARCH INTERNSHIP PROGRAM AT SHIBAURA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

MR. KRITSANA SRITANTIMAKORN

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
SCHOOL OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
KING MONGKUT’S UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY THONBURI

Preface This is a preface of a report on research internship program at Shibaura Institute of Technology Japan on 23rd May 2017 – 24th July 2017, during a summer break. The content covered the topic research internship program, the experience in term of culture awareness and internationalization, some details about living life in Japan and benefits gain from the program. I hope the information in this report will be useful for people who are interested in this research internship program at Japanese University next year.

REPORT DETAIL Name Research Internship Program at Shibaura Institute of Technology Period 23rd May 2017 – 24th July 2017, During a Summer Break. Candidate Mr. Kritsana Sritantimakorn , 57130500099 Program Information Technology
BACKGROUND

The Shibaura Institute of Technology (芝浦工業大学) is a private university of Technology in Japan, with campuses located in Tokyo and Saitama. It is the only private technology university in Japan to be selected for the Top Global University Project.
The university ranks moderately high in the Japanese university rankings, with an average selection rate of 25% based on entrance examinations.
Shibaura Institute of Technology’s main campus is located in the Toyosu district of Kōtō, Tokyo. The nearest station is Toyosu Station.
Apart from the main campus in Toyosu, there are 2 other campuses. The Omiya Campus in Saitama, and the Shibaura Campus in Minato, Tokyo. All undergraduates spend the first 2 years at the Omiya Campus, and then move to a different campus depending on their major. Students of the College of Systems Engineering and Science will spend all 4 years at the Omiya Campus.

A RESEARCH INTERNSHIP PROGRAM IN A LABORATORY

Research Internship Program
In this program, each student is required to select their research theme and supervisor professor to be in the laboratory. The topic and objective are depends on each laboratory whether student can find it themselves or the supervisor may assign them a topic.
Regarding my research project, my supervisor assigned me one project that is a project of a graduate student in the lab to continue developing the user interface part of offline software about a digital Photomosaic system. With a specific schedule and methodology to follow such as making a paper prototype; performing a user testing by an experiment; and so on.
A research internship program had 3 appointments from the international office: the first orientation, midterm review, and the final presentation.

 Experience in term of Culture Awareness and Internationalization .  
In term of working environment, at Shibaura Institute of Technology, students are divided into a small group and work in the room called Laboratory, based on their professor. In the laboratory, it’s a free space for working, meeting, resting, partying and so on. Each student will have their own desk with the equipment as required for their research or project, with a professor that works in that room as well. The laboratory room style and culture might be different depending on the members and professor. In my laboratory, there are around 20 members with a professor. A majority of the members are graduate students, separated into 4 groups based on their research. In addition, when some lab members have a presentation of their work, they will hold that presentation to the laboratory members and professor for asking their opinion and comment and adjust their work first beforegoing to the real presentation. This is a sort of my laboratory culture.
About the working hours, there is no specific working period or daily hours to access the laboratory but the schedule of individual to complete their work within. Sometimes, you will see some of members enter lab at 5 p.m. and stay overnight or be absent from the laboratory on some day as normal. They just have to complete the work by the schedule and follow it up to the professor and other members. Also, at every late Friday of the month, it is called “A Premium Friday” which everyone will off their work earlier, like at 3 p.m., and go for the party.
Regarding part time jobs, most of the students are working on their part time job. As in a normal day, if they don’t have any class, they can staying at lab or take their time freely. So, as I saw, most of the students will leave the lab and do the part time job usually. There are various types of a part time job; to illustrate, one of my laboratory friend works for their job at the canteen, preparing some ingredients for cooking. Some go to work outside, et cetera.
Lastly, I will talk about lab party, in my laboratory; there is a party per month. They will choose one day in the last week of the month for the party. Sometimes, they are going to buy the ingredients from the store and cooking in the laboratory. Sometimes, they are going outside like in some restaurants or a cruise for the dinner. In laboratory party, everyone that free on the party day will join including a professor. The cost of the party will be separated equally. Sometimes, some member will bring some foods or drinks to join in some special occasion. For example, one student of my laboratory went to join the conference of their research at the other region. So they bought some famous food and drink of that prefecture and bring it to join at the lab.
In summary, these of above experiences I told are based on my laboratory. Some culture at the other laboratory may be different regarding their members and a professor.

RESIDENCE, TRANSPORTATION & MEAL PLAN
RESIDENCE
A monthly accommodation is provided by the Japanese University at a private apartment, with a rental fee around 55000 JPY per person/month. In this year, we lived at WEEKLY NISHIKAWAGUCHI Apartment in Saitama. The room size is 2DK, for 5 people per room. The accommodation includes 2 bedrooms: western and Japanese style, a bathroom with toilet, kitchen and living space with a right angle balcony.

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TRANSAPORTATION
In Japan, we normally use a train for the main public transport. It costs around 10000 JPY for a monthly ticket from the apartment to the university with approximately 1 hour spends.

MEAL PLAN
Students are required to prepare for all their meals. The cost for an inexpensive restaurant is between 500 – 1000 YEN per meal.

PROBLEMS/OBSTACLES
The problem I have met during the program is a communication problem. Because at my laboratory, most of the members are not use English language and I cannot communicate in Japanese. That is my biggest problem as I have to work with another people in the lab. I have to find someone in the lab that they can speak English and ask them for a favor for interpreting when I want to communicate, throughout the program.
When we talk about work, it was just a part. I solved it as above. But when I am not able to communicate to other people directly or we do not understand each other when talking. It was hard to make a new friend or to talk just for some daily conversation. So I think I shall be more joy if I can communicate to them more smoothly either in English or Japanese.

BENEFITS OF A RESEARCH INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
This research internship program is held during a summer break from the late May to the end of July. So, I think it is a good choice to choose if you are looking for some internship program. In this program, you will not only see how the working environment in the foreign country or the university abroad in term of academic is; but to explore their culture, style and to try living your life in the different environment as well.

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