Voices

IELP students

Amila Karunathilake

The International Environmental Leadership Program (IELP) gathers graduate students who are focusing their further studies on the environmental sciences. In addition to the general graduate program, students get the chance to focus on global environmental issues. Individual impressions of this multicultural platform result in better conversation. This creates a very open and engaging environment within which to develop as a scientist. Teamwork generates a lot of information and experience with amusement. I think this is a tremendous opportunity offered by Tohoku University for graduates who are truly intellectual leaders in their fields of expertise.

Arie Pujiwati

I have been experiencing a new, wonderful, enjoyable life since I joined IELP at the Graduate School of Environmental Studies in Tohoku University. I can deepen my knowledge on environmental studies, learn how to be an environmental leader, and learn how to think strategically in order to overcome any problem especially related to environment, energy, and resources. All sensei of IELP and the graduate school of environmental studies are professional and specialized in their fields. They are very helpful and generous. They are concerned about our lives since we are studying abroad, far from our countries. New global friends have given me a new perspective of brainstorming and thinking, improved my English skills, and broadened my knowledge of energy and environmental issues. Even though we were very clumsy at the beginning, more intensive interaction, especially when doing our course task, made us very close. Furthermore, don't ask about Sendai city! It is a lovely, peaceful, and pleasant city. It is the city of trees. I can find a lot of halal food in this city. However, the most pleasurable experience for me at IELP is that I can join this course with my husband as an IELP student also. We can bring our children to this lovely city and complete our courses and research while they are in kindergarten and daycare.

Hugo Erawan

The students in IELP come from many different countries, and it is interesting to learn about many other cultures. Some of the lectures are very broad and discuss many fields of study, which has broadened my view. I think it is a good program for acquiring vast knowledge.

Isma Addi Bin Jumbri

IELP was initiated in October 2014. My friends from various countries and I are considered part of the first batch of IELP students at Tohoku University. Most of the lectures are mainly in English and are given by expert and professional IELP's professors. I believe that all advanced classes and seminars I complete within a three-year period under IELP’s doctoral program will help me to develop the qualities and skills needed to become a future leader in global and local environmental issues. Lastly, Tohoku University is located in Sendai, and it is a wonderful place to stay with your family.

Phan Thanh Chien

Before I came to Japan, I was thinking that the environmental study will be a very closed thing. All day, I just went to my lab and studied my research. I was really worried that I could not learn anything about Japan or another country as I had hoped to do. I was also concerned that my English skills would be lost. But this was not so. IELP really lives up to its name, the International Environmental Leadership Program. All of the new information I learned from the program opened me up to a new vision of the world.

Thanks to my friends from many countries. They have made me feel as though all of the nations are closer together. I have never been to Indonesia, but now I know about Indonesia through Arie, my first friend. I have never been to Mongolia, but now I also know about Mongolia through Otgo.

If you want to become a leader, you must constantly be learning, especially if you wish to become an environmental leader. You have to be open to learning at all times and every day because none of us can know everything. You have to communicate constantly, presenting your ideas. Regarding specific knowledge, you have to know what sustainable development is, what being environmentally friendly is, and the development strategy for social resources in the future. You have to learn how to resolve conflicts over natural resources, how to pinpoint societal problems both today and in the future, and, above all, how to create solutions.

I experienced and learned so much in the IELP program, and I feel I would be a real leader in the near future. Thanks to all of professors, and thanks to all of my friends. Thanks to all who helped me to enter this program. The environment is not a matter of each individual or each country. Addressing the environment requires a connection together, share together, and sustainable development.

Robi Kurniawan

IELP, which is designed to develop the qualities and skills needed to solve future issues related to the global and local environments and their resources, is appropriate for my institution and me. This program has deepened my knowledge about policies related to energy, economic, and environmental issues. IELP also has an excellent academic environment that allows students to be innovative and think independently. I can study the latest technology and acquire the knowledge that enabled Japan’s phenomenal postwar economic growth. Tohoku University is well-equipped with fine research, computers, and library facilities, thus enabling students to carry out their research in a state-of-the-art environment.

Learning the Japanese language and culture in Sendai city is also very interesting to me. Modern Japanese culture and society consist of a diverse mix of the old and new, the East and West, and the natural and artificial. These seemingly contradictory elements coexist in harmony in Japan, therefore allowing students to experience a unique culture.

Messages from Graduates of SERMSS (Precursor of IELP)

Samir Gadow

Graduated from Doctor Course in September 2014
Assistant Professor, Agricultural Microbiology Department, National Research Center (NRC), Cairo, Egypt

In September 2013, I completed the Environmental Leader Program (ELP) and at the same time graduated from my doctoral course at the Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University. Currently I work as an assistant professor at the same department, where the focus of my work has been the development of a new system for upgrading biohydrogen production from cellulosic biomass.
Through this program, I have gained a lot of professional skills, reallife experience and practical knowledge particularly in the field of Sustainable Environmental Planning and Management and have met a lot of ambitious and motivated people. Throughout my life, I would like to work creatively and for my future career to be challenging. Thus, I believe that successfully finished the ELP got me one step closer to that goal. Therefore, I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who wants to be a great leader and to make a difference in today's work environment.

Hernando P. Bacosa

Completed the Basic Course in March 2013
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Texas in Austin, USA

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Texas at Austin where I study the role of the interaction of bacteria, phytoplankton, and hydrocarbons on the fate of oil in the marine environment. I belong to a project funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). This endeavor aims to investigate the impacts of oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico particularly the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout, and to improve our understanding of such events and their environmental and health effects. I work with a research consortium that brings together complementary experts from six institutions in the United States and Europe that includes ecologists, chemists, engineers, and numerical modelers.
Thanks to the Environmental Leader Program for providing me the essential thinking skills, abilities, and perspective that help me work effectively as part of this group. Working in a multidisciplinary and diverse group is a challenging situation. I hope that students in the ELP should make use of the opportunity to learn and develop these crucial skills in order to prepare themselves for the actual work situation and as guardians of the planet.

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