Studying Chemistry in Okinawa!CurriculumFaculty


What do you think of first when you hear the name Chemistry Program, Department of Chemistry, Biology, and Marine Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of the Ryukyus? Most likely you think of the marine environment, but in fact our department is divided into several different fields: organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and physical chemistry—so not every Laboratory is doing research related to the marine environment.
At our university, we not only study chemistry but also numerous general education courses such as English and German during the first year, plus physical education, traditional arts of Okinawa, and more. Since students from different facilities attend the general education classes, it is a lively environment where students can expand on their circle of friends.
In the second and third years, students take more and more specialized classes in chemistry. In our chemistry laboratory classes, we have the opportunity to apply what we have learned in our specialized classes.
By our fourth year, we begin working on our graduation research in the Laboratory that we choose to affiliate with. I am engaged in organic chemistry and natural products chemistry. We gather plants, extract substances from them, and then study them in a more detailed way using equipment to analyze. At the Laboratory, our studies are even more specialized than in class, and we can identify reasons for things that we had never really thought about. Though we are busy and our studies can be tough, each and every day is full.
As I talk a little bit about above, university life is not only about studies. When class is over, we play hard (laughs)! I've been up north with some friends, and we even bought 100 hamburgers and ate them between seven or eight of us (laughs). In addition to our university's soccer and baseball clubs, which are known for their dynamism, we have many other clubs such as traditional arts, football, diving, and more. We also have people who work hard at their part-time jobs so that they can travel with their friends. Everyone's got a different style, but everybody makes the most of university life. The Chemistry Program draws lots of people from outside Okinawa Prefecture, which has been a very stimulating opportunity for me to get to know people with different ways of thinking, since I'm from Okinawa Prefecture.
My four years at university went by incredibly fast, yet every day was fun for me. I would like to say to high school students who will be attending the University of the Ryukyus: make the most of your precious four years there, and have fun!
I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was in junior high school. My goal from the time I was a high school student was to go to university to be certified as a teacher. However, since I hadn't decided whether I wanted to get certified as a high school or junior high school teacher, I was still thinking about it until just before the deadline for submitting the application to sit for the university examination. It was quite a big step for me to decide whether or not I could enroll in a teaching program and learn mainly teaching principles, or to study specialized knowledge of science at a science faculty. After a great deal of consideration, I decided to choose the Faculty of Science, where I could get a license either as a junior high school or high school teacher. What helped me to decide was the realization that I could gradually learn about the school environment once I began working, but specialized knowledge is a critical thing that I believed I should acquire at the university level.
Looking back on the past four years, I think that my decision at the time was correct. My perspective has broadened due to the fact that I met many different people and was exposed to various kinds of knowledge. Though hands-on education and research, I feel that I have been able to grow tremendously.
After graduation, I'll be starting a job as a high schoolteacher. Using the experience and knowledge I gained at the university level, I would like to convey the importance as well as the fun and excitement of chemistry to my students.
I've mostly talked about myself up through this point. Of course, the Chemistry, Biology, and Marine Science Department here at the Faculty of Science is not only for people who want to become teachers. This is a specialization that anyone who is interested in chemistry--and who wants to study the phenomena and matter that surround us from the perspective of chemistry--will find fun and interesting.
University-level chemistry is different from high school chemistry in that it is highly interesting when understood properly, even if it's difficult. Come join us and experience chemistry as it truly is!
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