< Back

Yuko SUGIHARA The University of Tokyo | to Sweden

The reason why I decided to study in Sweden is to understand how “Sweden Model”, the national system that is highly appreciated all over the world and has been built and how the policies in Sweden have contributed to build such a country. Since I will be one of the members of government officials in Japan from this April so I wanted to compare the difference of policy systems between Japan and Sweden before being one.


Through taking classes of “Sweden Society”, “Labour Economics” and “Public Finance”, I have learned how the society of Sweden has been built from 1930’s and how the politicians and policies have contributed it. Also, it has left an impression on me that every lectures asked us, who majors in economics, to evaluate national policies in terms of economics theories. I became keenly aware of the necessity I have to achieve it as a government official.


During my study in Sweden, there is a small number of students from Asia and of course no one knew about me and evaluated me in terms of some “rebelling”, many backgrounds in my life. At first it was very tough and I couldn’t but to feel lonely. But I kept on trying to show what I am in my class and my dormitory, people gradually accepted me. The experience rethinking about me and managing to do in the situation itself was precious.


Currently EU has many difficulties and tackles to the problem of immigrants and refugees. Under the sudden rise of populism and anti-foreignism, many countries are in danger of national isolations. The experience to witness the dramatic crisis in EU was also precious for me. I made up my mind to be involved to EU countries as a government member in Japan in this difficult situation through this experience in Sweden.


Moreover, I had chance to visit several international institutions such as IAEA and UNIDO around EU countries. I also met some government officials who is currently acting as representatives of Japanese government. These experiences also affected me on my career. In addition, I visited the embassy of Japan in Sweden, participated in Novel Lecture by the 2016 Novel winner Professor Osumi and Lucia Ball that is the official party for students in Stockholm University and the Nobel winners. I had these opportunities merely because I chose Stockholm for my destination of the exchange program.


Special thanks to the Victor and William Fung Foundation; I am grateful for your support. Without your support, I could not have had such wonderful experiences. I surely make use of this study abroad in my life ahead as a government official.