Cristian Michael Tracci, an international affairs major from John Cabot University in Rome, spent his sophomore spring semester in 2015 at TUJ. After more than a year, he still recalls the days at TUJ as fond memories.
— How did you like studying at TUJ?
Cristian: “I enjoyed it very much. It was the very first time for me to be in Japan, and I learned so much in many aspects. After the four months, I got to understand charms of Japanese culture and really liked my professors at TUJ. I took classes like Japanese literature, Chinese and Japanese history, and macroeconomics. Also, it was really nice that I lived quite nearby TUJ within walking distance, whereas back in Rome I commute by motorcycle for 25 minutes.”
— So, you founded the “Political Debate Club” while you studied here.
Cristian: “In January 2015, the Charlie Hebdo attack happened in France, which aroused such a big controversy throughout Europe. I was in Tokyo then, and thought it would be a good idea to discuss from Japanese point of view.
“I asked Professor James Brown, who gave me some advice and reference to a few students. I contacted them and we first met brainstorming how we developed the club from scratch. The club was solely run by students, which started with two and soon grew bigger.
“We decided to address some very basic questions at the beginning: 1) what is debate? – ‘the idea of debate,’ 2) why do we have to debate?, 3) define democracy, 4) how to access hybrid regimes focusing on China – would it make democracy?, 5) democracy in Japan, etc.
“Debate made itself very lively and passionately as the club members were so diverse in cultural backgrounds including Italian (myself), American, Chinese, Brazilian, and some half-Japanese.”
After his study abroad at TUJ in spring 2015, Cristian participated in the Singapore Model United Nations conference last June, registering as a TUJ representative. Cristian shared his experience as follows:
Variety, organization and sharing
“If I had to choose three adjectives to describe my last Model United Nations (MUN) in Singapore at National University of Singapore, they would be: variety, organization and sharing.
“First of all, Singapore showed me another of the many and different faces of the big Asian continent. For someone who had never experienced it, Singapore, with its multicultural society, lets you deeply dive into a mix of cultures, food, faces, languages that has nothing to envy to New York. Likewise, the people attracted by the conference were from a wide range of Asian countries you rarely see together. The fact that everybody was well prepared is not news for a high level conference. What surprised me instead was the passion that animated the debate during the sessions and outside of them.
“Singapore is world famous for being efficient and organized. So was the MUN. The expertise of the organizing committee was evident to the point that it was difficult to find any complaints, which is not always the case when you have to take care of hundreds of students for a week. The well planned NUS Campus is the perfect place for the week long event.
“This almost perfect machine brought together an incredible number of interesting and interested people. Being able to share the western and the Asian points of view in such a lively atmosphere, feeling this unlikely encounter, as well as the serious and analytical confrontations made Singapore Model UN different from most MUNs one can attend. “