French student fulfilled a long-cherished dream of studying in Japan; now aims to be a lawyer who can act as a bridge between Japan and France

Anna Miller, Graduate School of Law and Politics

Jun 30, 2020

OVERVIEW

French student Anna Miller came to Japan to improve her Japanese language skills and study the legal system here. She says her interest in this country goes back to her childhood. What was her campus life like at Rikkyo University?

Anna Miller, third from left in front row, with Professor Hiroki Hatano and other students of his seminar

French student Anna Miller came to Japan to improve her Japanese language skills and study the legal system here. She says her interest in this country goes back to her childhood. What was her campus life like at Rikkyo University?

As a child, Anna Miller loved to hear her grandfather talk about his business trips to Japan. In university, she majored in law while studying Japanese language and culture in earnest at INALCO (National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations).

Anna Miller studied law at University of Paris V (Rene Descartes). After graduating, she studied at the graduate schools of University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and University of Paris IX (Paris-Dauphine).

After passing the bar examination, she decided to fulfill her long-cherished dream of studying in Japan. Studying here was part of a master’s program at INALCO. “I chose Rikkyo University, as a teacher in France recommended it as a good Japanese university to study law.”

At Rikkyo University, she spent much of her time in her seminar room at the College of Law and Politics.

Anna Miller poses with other students at Rikkyo University International Exchange Dormitory

She felt nervous when she had an interview with Professor Hiroki Hatano, her seminar instructor, for the first time. But they soon started enjoying chatting in French in a relaxed atmosphere, as the professor is a specialist in French law and the civil code. “I knew at that moment that my life at the university would be a wonderful one,” she said.

At the university, she studied the scandal over HIV-tainted blood products in France and Japan to compare the legal handling of the major social problem in both countries. She compared and analyzed how the different legal systems functioned and rendered judgments.

“As I struggled with technical terms, my teacher and other students at the seminar always helped me,” she said. “I always found it fulfilling when discussing a specific topic seriously with graduate students.”

She also said, “I brought my o-bento (boxed meal) and enjoyed having lunch with them.”

Anna Miller in Yokohama's Chinatown area

She lived in Rikkyo University International Exchange Dormitory during her stay at Rikkyo.

“As Japanese and international students live together at the dormitory, we use English and Japanese as common languages,” she said. “I’ve developed friendships with students from various countries.”

She very much likes the university’s Ikebukuro campus, where she enjoyed chatting with friends on a bench and reading books. She fondly remembers taking part in the shooting of a video that Rikkyo University produced for overseas promotion by appearing in the video herself with other international students while enjoying the Ikebukuro area.

Anna Miller at Kairaku-en garden in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, during the Ume Matsuri plum festival

“Rikkyo University has an international atmosphere and the teachers are very supportive of international students,” she said, adding that she was able to focus on studying, without feeling the stress of being in an unfamiliar environment, because people around her constantly and warmly supported her.

Anna Miller's studies at the university finished in July. Since returning home, she has been undertaking judicial training. She says her goal is to become a lawyer who engages in legal matters concerning both France and Japan. Certainly she will be active as a lawyer versed in transnational legal affairs by using her Japanese skills she improved in Japan and her experience of living in a different cultural environment.

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