[留学生の藝大体験記3]Nicolás Guarín León (映像研究科・映像メディア学専攻)



Name, Department, Home country and city, Duration

First name: Nicolás
Last Name: Guarín León
Department: Film and New Media Department – PHD in Film and New Media Studies
Birthplace: Bogota, Colombia.
Enrollment Period: 3 Years

名: ニコラス
姓: グアリン・レオン
所属: 大学院映像研究科(映像メディア学博士後期課程)
出身: コロンビア、ボゴタ
在籍期間: 3年

Why did you choose Geidai as your study abroad destination?

I chose Geidai because it is the only Japanese university with a Doctorate Degree on Film and New Media with a “Practical Knowledge” approach. Since I wanted to research while keep on doing artistic work, I though this was the right place to come.
Additionally, the Film and New Media department counts with professors who are active artists with worldwide reputation like Koji Yamamura. Being able to learn from artists like him was without a doubt one of the main reasons.


What did you do to prepare yourself for studying abroad in Japan?

I am studying in Japan thanks to a scholarship from the Monbukagakusho, and in order to get it I had to prepare my research project, take an English and Japanese proficiency test, and be interviewed by members of both Japanese Embassy and Colombia’s government. For that reason, I started to study Japanese Language and Culture in my country, and researched about different Japanese universities before coming here. Despite this, it was really hard for me to communicate when I arrived. Fortunately the scholarship gave the chance to study an intensive Japanese Language course in Kyoto University to improve my level.


What do you study at Geidai?

I am doing a PHD program in Film and New media Studies with an emphasis on Documentary Animation research. I come from a documentary and live-action film production background so now I am learning about animation as much as I can, in order to be able to create works that mix both Documentary and Animation.



What do you like about Geidai?

I like that most of students are truly interested in what they study. I think having so many passionate students is one reason why Geidai is a successful university.
Additionally, the support that the Department of New Film and Media gives to student works is world-class level. In the Animation department for example, works from students are not only colorized and mixed with professional standards, but the music and soundtrack is done in collaboration with students of the Musical Creativity and Environment department. I believe there is no other university in Japan that gives such much to all student films.


What are the things that impressed you or surprised you in Japan?

In a positive way, the level of perfection in which people try to accomplish every task they do. From people who work at restaurants and train stations, to Artists and Scientist, Japanese people work really hard and give all effort in getting things well done. Negatively, how study and job are sometimes seen as concepts completely different from each other. The use of expressions like “person-of-society”, reveal how many people in Japan tend to think that academic work is not a real job. This is a mindset that Japanese universities will have to tackle if they pretend to compete and globalize.


What are your future goals?

I want to keep making films in other to become a renowned director and media producer. I also hope that after accumulating more years of work experience, I can go back to University as a teacher to share what I have learned with future generations of artists.



Please write a message for students wishing to study in Japan.

Studying in Japan has been one of the best experiences in my life. It has made me grow in an intellectual and personal level that I could not ever image. The style in which teaching is conceived inside Japan, is quite different from the way is conceived in my country. More than teacher-directed, graduate education in Japan is more self-directed in my opinion. This demands you to have a great discipline and it can be challenging for international students. However, I think the benefits of overcoming this challenge can be quite rewarding. I would not change the experience of studying in this country for anything else.