Hinako Matsui

Hinako - Master's student in East Asian Studies

Meet Hinako Matsui, a current Master's degree student at the University of Turku and an UTUambassador 2022-2023!

"Hi! I am Hinako, and I am a second-year student in the Master’s degree programme in East Asian Studies. I came from Japan after finishing my bachelor's degree in Language and Area studies. 

East Asia has been always attractive to me not only because it is where I am from but also because it is such a dynamic and influential part of the world. I decided to come to Finland to gain a third-person perspective of viewing East Asia. I am especially interested in gender, education, welfare, and sustainability in Japanese and South Korean society, and considering these issues in the Finnish or European context is very insightful. Also, everyday life in Turku is a very important part of my learning experience as a social science student because I can always compare Finland and East Asian countries. 

What I love about studying at UTU is its student-friendly atmosphere. Both teaching and administrative staffs are very kind and supportive. If I am in trouble, there is always someone who helps me. Although I am an international student without Finnish-speaking ability, I never felt that I am excluded from the UTU community.  

Before coming to Finland, I remember I had tons of questions and worries. I would love to support your new journey here in Turku as a student ambassador, so feel free to reach me anytime!"

Instagram:@hina_oneday | LinkedIn: Hinako Matsui 


Hinako's study experience:

Tell more about your programme and why you chose it!

As a student in the East Asian Studies programme, a lot of people have asked me “why did you come to Finland to study East Asia?” Well, I would say I was half guided by my animal intuition, but I wanted to gain a third-person perspective on the society where I was born and had lived for 20+ years. Since I have a special interest in gender and education in East Asian countries, it is fantastic to study these issues in Finnish and European contexts!

My attempt is not to decide what is good/bad or which is better/worse but to find a future possibility in between. I believe that we have a lot of things that we can learn from each other.

What have you learned so far?

Before starting my master’s at UTU, I did not know how I can contribute to society by bringing my knowledge and experience to the field of East Asia. After spending one and a half years in Finland, I gradually realized that I anyway love and believe in the power of education and students’ international experience. I am very thankful for all the people who had given me such wonderful educational experiences in East Asian countries and Finland.

What are your future career plans?

Maybe now it’s my turn to provide opportunities to others who are waiting the day when they take off! Back in East Asia, in Finland, or somewhere else? I still don’t know. Let’s see how far I can go!