On March 26th, 2021, Mr. Lajkit Rufus from the Marshall Islands graduated Sophia University Graduate School. APIC talked with him about his life at Sophia University and about his current situation upon graduating.
Life at Sophia University
Attending Sophia University was an excellent choice for me because I have learned so much from all my academic professors on environmental conservation and sustainability. Pursuing my education toward majoring in environmental studies at Sophia make me realize that it is worthwhile and beneficial to me and to my country. Although, there were challenges I face but I was willing to face those challenges in order for me to build a better future for all. However, it required hard work, determination, and motivation, but I was committed to ensure that I can overcome failure. I once heard that action speak lauder than word, so I did my part which is to gain more knowledge and prepared myself to serve my country in the future (Thanks to Sophia University).
Life in Japan
Life in Japan is fantastic, I have learned so much the culture and how people treat each other respectfully. I wanted to thanks all my Japanese friends/families for their support in keeping me focus on my studies. Living in Japan was culturally shock for me because coming from a Small Islands Nation (The Republic of the Marshall Islands), lifestyle is totally different, but I did enjoy living in Japan. I also, wanted to thanks APIC program for giving me the opportunities in studying in Japan, and make great connection with the people, the country, and most importantly the culture. To all my professors in the University, thank you so much for always there for me in Japan when I am homesick, and to all my friends at the University I will see you guys around. Life in Japan for me was the most wonderful experience moment of my life. I will visit you soon!
What are you doing now after graduation?
I graduated from the University of Hawaii Hilo with a Bachelor of Arts & Science on Geography Studies on 2014. In 2016, I started under the Ministry of Natural Resources & Commerce at the Agriculture Division as the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) local consultant for a Food Security related Project and continued as the Ministry’s Agro-Forestry Coordinator, a post I am still currently serves. In 2018, I went back to school to obtain my Masters in Global Environmental Studies at Sophia University and recently graduated in 2021. After graduating from the University, I return home to serve my country-oversees the (Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Forest Action Plan.
Hence, my goal was to apply my interest in environmental conservation to identify, prevent, and mitigate threats to our ecosystem. The Graduate School of Global Environment Studies at Sophia University has help me further develop these skills intricately and be proficient in delivering environmental conservation to my community/country and other decision-makers. As an Agroforestry coordinator, I managed to help my community conserved their land in more environmentally sound way and promote traditional trees planting that we depend on for many years. I also work with several project to promote food & nutrition security in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).
The APIC-MCT Exchange Student Scholarship Fund was created upon the agreement of APIC, Sophia University, and MCT; the program focuses on the development of human resources from the perspective of environmental conservation. This graduate program enrolls students from the three nations of the Micronesia area into Sophia University Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies to obtain their masters degree in said field. From the program’s establishment in 2017, four students have graduated and currently three students are matriculating, spending their days researching their respective topics.