PARE programs, lifelong experience
I took part in PARE-chain programs in the summer of 2018 in Hokkaido University Japan and the spring of 2019 in Gajah Mada University Indonesia. When I consider, in retrospect, my overall study experiences in Hokkaido University, the PARE program uniquely stand out.
First, the knowledge gained from the PARE program tremendously increased my personal awareness about the interactions between Population, Activities, Resources and Environment and that the role I play as an individual have a net consequence in the sustainability of life on earth.
Second is the lifelong soft skills that I developed from taking the course. These include field research skill, cross-cultural skill, frontier spirit and problem-solving skill. I would not have been able to have this unique experience if not because of PARE.
In the PARE program we did some field-based study and researches. The study tasks involved working as part of a team whilst learning outside the classroom. This had a direct effect in increasing my research skills as well as my ability to be flexible and adaptive to new situations. I, in some ways, owe the smooth and excellent completion of my master program in Hokkaido University to the research skill I gained in PARE.
PARE programs also have a good mix of students of various nationality and cultures. In fact, in PARE, I met, studied, and worked with students from up to 12 different countries in 4 continents. This kind of international atmosphere expanded my cross-cultural understanding in a profound way. Since after the program, I have had some forms of mini reunions with my fore PARE program cohorts. In some cases, I have collaborated on some academic and social-entrepreneurial projects remotely with some of my former PARE colleagues.
Another skill of importance I gained from PARE is the problem-solving skills. Most of the course materials were not specifically my main area of expertise, yet, the unique course structure pay emphasis on fostering relevant forms of skills over specific knowledge. I was able to develop problem-solving as well as creative and critical thinking skills. A skill set which is a valuable for a lifetime.
After completing the PARE program, my vision for the future did become clearer. My ability to develop programs and form leadership by utilizing my knowledge and experience did also immensely increase. This is the essence of the frontier spirit of the course. It will be very safe to say, that this experiences and skill gained from PARE, aided me in competing and winning first prize in the Tokyo Regional Hult Prize in 2019.