As a former aspiring student who gained admission to Tokyo Tech last year, I distinctly remember the challenges posed by the pandemic-driven shift to an entirely online information search. However, this year, a much-anticipated event made its return—the annual Tokyo Tech Open Campus. The prospect of witnessing aspiring students hailing from diverse backgrounds, converging to physically explore our campus and delve deeper into understanding our university, ignited in me a sense of excitement and anticipation. Observing this surge of enthusiasm and fostering genuine, one cannot deny the heartwarming emotions that in-person interactions evoke.

It was around June when a staff member from the Admission Section, who helped us a lot with the Student Ambassador activities, sent a message to me regarding available part-time positions for Tokyo Tech’s Open Campus 2023. With an offer extended, I immediately accepted, as I recognized the value of the experience and the chance to hone my Japanese language skills. Additionally, the date and time of the event fit my plans for the summer break.

At first, I was slightly worried that my Japanese language skills would not be enough and I would hinder the other students and staff members, but through the help and guidance of staff members in the Admission Section, from the briefing session until the day before the event, I gained confidence and I became really excited for the day when I was to start working at the Open Campus.

Photo 1: Me and the other members of the reception team working to distribute flyers

The Open Campus preparation starts quite early in the morning. As student staff members, we had to arrive two hours before the opening time of around 10:00 AM for briefing and preparation. My position at the Open Campus event was at the reception on the wooden walkway in front of the Main Building at Ookayama Campus. In general, we had to distribute the package containing pamphlets, brochures, and some goodies for the participants. In addition to that, we also answered questions from participants mainly about the locations of rooms and buildings around the campus. We worked together as a team of students and staff members, with some students distributing the materials, and others restocking the materials from the boxes and cleaning up papers and cardboard boxes left over from the event. Each team has their own shifts to ensure that everyone gets sufficient breaks. The work was quite tiring but I was quite happy since I felt that everyone cooperated well and I really felt like I contributed to the Open Campus event. I also had a good time practicing my Japanese speaking skills by answering questions from participants and helping them find the places around the campus.

Photo 2: Open Campus materials that were distributed

Other divisions worked hard in different spots around the campus, and some more senior students participated in research presentations and explanations for each School or Department in Tokyo Tech. There were also presentations about clubs that are available at Tokyo Tech and a section about study-abroad and exchange opportunities as well. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic about getting to know our campus better, and that made me feel ecstatic as well!

Photo 3: Research presentation by students from Tokyo Tech departments

Personally, the most interesting part of my experience in the Open Campus event was watching the aspiring students. Most of them seemed like high school students, and they came with their friends, parents, or even siblings. One of the students in our reception team met with a group of high-schoolers who seemed to be her juniors and it was fun watching the various interactions and conversations happen. I really enjoyed how bright and lively the atmosphere around the campus was during the event.

Overall, the event was very well-prepared and it was a truly enriching experience working at the Open Campus. The thought of participating again in the next Open Campus event as a student staff member excites me, and I would love to help out again, perhaps in a different capacity so I could also experience other activities of the event. Although this event is held in Japanese for prospective students and their families, I extend a warm invitation to everyone, especially aspiring students, no matter your language or nationality, to partake in next year’s Open Campus or any similar events, such as the Tokyo Tech Festival (Kodaisai) that will be happening on October 28 and 29 this year! Your presence is valued, and I hope to see you on campus soon!