Kiyonori Kariura first came to London four years ago after graduating from an international high school in Tokyo, Japan. He is now due to graduate from BA Fashion Marketing with work experience behind him and is looking forward to a promising career in retail/fashion marketing either in London or back in Tokyo.
What have been the key benefits of studying abroad?
“Everything. I have benefited in every way in terms of my personal development, my English, my self-confidence, my independence, my outlook on life and my career prospects.”
Kiyonori has really embraced studying with us at London Metropolitan University and made the most out of his study experience. He realised soon after arrival that London was a cosmopolitan city with people from all over the world, many of whom did not speak perfect English. He shed his self-consciousness about his own English language ability and started to communicate, no matter if the grammar was wrong. He was also forced to live independently – not just in terms of being away from his parents, but also in terms of sorting his own day-to-day schedule, household affairs, bills, shopping and dealing with administrative systems that were different to the ones back in Japan.
What have been the differences between living in the UK and in Japan?
He says “I found that Japan was too convenient for me. It is a very easy society to live in and one can too easily get caught up in the Japanese easy life. London in comparison to Japan is a very inconvenient place to live in. It’s forced me to be self-sufficient and capable of dealing with all sorts of problems and issues.”
After the massive Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan in March 2011, Kiyonori was instrumental in gathering the Japanese students at London Met and organising a fundraising effort that culminated in winning the 2011 Student Event of the Year Award. The experience helped to make him and other Japanese students feel they were doing their part for Japan at a time when they were far away from home. He was also voted in as the vice-president of the Japanese Society at London Met in 2011.
Why fashion marketing in particular?
Kiyonori loves his course and enjoys being able to study something that is so specific to his chosen career. “I wanted to study fashion marketing and so London is the best place to do this. London Met is fantastic as we are in the heart of the industry and we are always getting exposure to the industry and opportunities to undertake work experience placements.”
He is also passionate about football and is a keen football fan. The University’s proximity to his beloved Arsenal Football Club was a key factor in his decision to study here, and he regularly watches games at the Emirates Stadium.
Have you had any work experience as part of the course?
Currently Kiyonori is doing an internship for a company that provides a marketplace for online tickets with duties such as marketing, managing and translating web-content. He says “This experience is invaluable for me to get the job I want after graduating, either here in London or back in Tokyo.”
When asked if he has any advice for Japanese students wanting to study abroad he says “It’s a good idea to come on holiday here before you start your course and to visit the university, your housing and speak to teachers and students on your course”.
Learn more about BA Fashion Marketing.