NR: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by the Nagaoka Review, Borja. Could you tell us more about yourself?
BI: My name is Borja Prieto Iglesias and I am from Spain. I was an Electronics Engineering research student at the Nagaoka University of Technology (NUT), under Professor Hitoshi Haga. I was involved in a research, whereby I worked on developing my Bachelor’s thesis, “Study on isolated AC-DC converter using high-frequency switching”.
I am a very social and positive person, in general. I love hanging around with friends and meeting new people. Music and traveling are my passion.
NR: What inspired you to come to NUT?
BI: Among all my international exchange possibilities, Japan was the most appealing to me. I would say that Japan was the reason. Secondly, after I did further research on the laboratories offered, I found the one that fits my interest most, which was why I chose to come to NUT. I was also very lucky to be granted both a Spanish as well as a Japanese scholarship to study.
Borja and his friends in a house party
NR: What was interesting about life at NUT?
BI: The people I came to know are from diverse background. My friends are mainly Spanish and from Latin American countries (Mexico, Chile, Venezuela). But along the way, I got to know a German and Tunisian as well as many people from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam as well as China. It was nice knowing so many people!
On my days off, I try to travel around Japan. In Nagaoka, I enjoy having dinner and going out for Karaoke. Organizing dinners at home was also a great experience, besides singing along while playing my guitar.
NR: What did you like most about Japan?
BI: I love Japan a lot. The food, the culture, the landscapes as well as monuments…. So far, I would say that I love everything I have experienced in Japan, except the transportation price! Food is by far the best, among all things I enjoyed!
But what made the experience all the better are the people I have met. Everyone treated me nicely.
NR: Have you traveled around Japan?
BI: I have visited Tokyo a couple of times on sightseeing tours with 4 of my friends. We also watched a Sumo match with another friend on my second trip. On the Christmas vacation, I went on tour through Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji and Kobe with 2 friends and visited some famous spots. We hiked a little and enjoyed the Japanese night scene. It was a great experience.
In February, I went to Hokkaido with 4 other friends and rented a car. We went around discovering the wonders of the island. And the last trip I went was to Kagoshima and Yakushima island with 4 other friends. We mainly hiked around and enjoyed the beauty that nature offered. It was stunning!
NR: How would you describe your experience?
BI: Pleasantly surprised! I’ve learned to live in a more calm manner, and becoming more respectful of one another. While I think Spain is not a chaotic country (we are usually nice to one another), but sometimes we do lack the personal distance in some situation. This experience has taught me interesting aspects of life I might otherwise not have known!
NR: What would you recommend new students to do when they arrive at NUT?
BI: Open up and don’t be shy! Also, it is really important to learn Japanese, especially when living in Nagaoka.
NR: Are you planning to come back to Japan if you have a chance?
BI: That is an interesting question. Actually, I am in the process of applying for the Master’s degree in NUT now. I guess I really love Nagaoka after all!
Wish me luck! I hope to be back at NUT. But either way, I know I would return as a traveler!
Name: Borja Prieto Iglesias
Background: Electrical Engineering