[Voices from Students in Japan] Mr. ALHASSAN Usman | Ritsumeikan University




PhD student

Graduate School of Economics

Ritsumeikan University

My study has been around development economics which is largely influenced by my background and interest in seeing to the development of Nigeria and Africa at large. My current research is on the labour market and job creation options for Nigeria and other African economies. Specifically, I’m currently looking at the intersection between technology, remittances and job (remote) creation. This is motivated by the growing youth unemployment bedeviling African economies and the attendant consequences, the growing need for technological diffusion and the competing relevance of remittances inflow to the continent.


Japan is a combination of advancement and deep-rooted cultural beliefs. While the former provides you with the best means of having a conducive student life like highly skilled and supportive academics, study materials and serene environment, the latter imbibes in you the ethical and moral standards needed to be human and productive. Personally, I have come to appreciate their concept of “Kaizen” which loosely stands for “continuous improvement”. Often used in the business environment, this concepts teaches you to be a better version of yourself each day. It has helped me a lot in ensuring and appreciating even the minutest improvements I make by the day.

My desired career path is unclear at the moment. However, I’m leaning towards the academia.


Making the decision to study abroad is a bold one. It is easy to get carried away by the thought of a blissful living and freedom from any perceived inconveniences that your current environment may be pushing at you. However, do not lose sight of challenges that are idiosyncratic to the new environment you aspire. You are going to deal with short-term cultural shock, language barrier (though manageable with technology) and chronic loneliness if you are an introvert. Nonetheless, you are going to achieve your academic dreams; that is guaranteed if you put in the effort required. Your job is to prepare your mind for the academic rigors, pick a good school and most importantly, make consultations in choosing the right academic instructor or supervisor.