Go east young man – Daniel on road to Japan with scholarship

An Edinburgh man who won a prestigious ­scholarship has set off on intensive study trip that he hopes will help him fulfil his dream of living and working in Japan.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 6:05 am
Daniel will follow in footsteps of countryman Thomas Glover

Thomas Blake Glover Aberdeen Standard Investments Scholarship winner Daniel Robertson, 31, will spend seven weeks in Japan developing language skills and making connections with international development agencies to build valuable connections for his career plans.

Daniel, a masters degree graduate in International Development from the University of Edinburgh, who lives in the city, said: “I’m aiming to make the most of my time there by studying hard, meeting people from all over the world, and exploring development organisations to try to progress my career. 

“One of my long-term aims is to live and work in Japan, so studying the Japanese language intensively over the summer will lay a strong foundation for that.”

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This summer’s scholarship runs during July and August at the ­International Christian University (ICU), located in Mitaka City, a ­suburban community adjacent to Tokyo.

Daniel added: “The scholarship allows time at the end of the ­summer to visit organisations of interest, do some networking, or even job-shadow. I plan to use this time to target organisations or universities working in the international development sector, to gain an understanding of how Japan approaches development work. I’m hoping that through relevant contacts I may even find some direct work opportunities.

“I’m looking forward to some holiday time at the end of it too. I’m aiming to travel up north to lesser-known parts of Japan such as Aomori and Hokkaido where I might find some beautiful landscapes and relief from the sweltering summer heat.

“Extended experiences abroad – particularly when learning a ­foreign language – are transformative and really help you to grow as person.

“I hope to gain a more rounded understanding of Japanese culture and history, while putting myself in a stronger position to tackle the future both personally and in my career.”

Daniel was one of almost 40 ­students and graduates in Scotland who applied for this year’s Thomas Blake Glover Aberdeen Standard Investments Scholarship.

Aberdeenshire-born Glover arrived in Nagasaki in 1859, just as Japan was opening to the West. He ultimately became a pivotal figure in the rapidly expanding Mitsubishi empire, founding shipyards and breweries.

The so-called Scottish Samurai became an adviser to the Japanese government. He died aged 73 in 1911 in Tokyo, and was the first non-Japanese person to be awarded the ­prestigious Order of the Rising Sun.