GSEP Graduate Voices:
Zolbayar Shagdar

A cosy evening with the northern lights outside

While a growing number of universities in Japan provides fully English-taught programs for graduate students, there aren’t still many for undergraduate students. Zol, a first batch GSEP graduate from Mongolia, indicates GSEP offers a unique opportunity to both experience Japan and receive top-notch higher education without the language barrier.

Where are you now and what are you doing now? What would you like to do in the future?

I’m living in Norway currently, pursuing my doctoral degree in computer science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). I’m working on the topic of Facial Video Analysis for Pre-hospital Cerebrovascular Accident (stroke) Detection, where my goal is to develop a diagnostic support system for fast and efficient response to strokes using computer vision and artificial intelligence.

If you look back the time at GSEP and consider what you gained from GSEP, how do you describe the benefits of the program? 

GSEP provides its students both the opportunity and privilege to experience Japan and learn first-hand from its culture. While it goes without saying that Japan has the best to offer in terms of education and culture, geography and the language barrier makes it a distant dream for many foreigners to visit or live there. GSEP makes it a close reality, being one of the only handful of undergraduate programs in Japan that are taught fully in English. There are even trips around Japan specially organized by GSEP, that give its students not only a great opportunity to travel but also unique insights into Japanese working culture through industrial site visits. Finally, as I get to study and work together with people from around the world after GSEP, I see that the quality of education GSEP and Tokyo Tech offers is top-notch.

How does GSEP contribute to or is connected with what you are doing now?

Academic research is often a combination of several different fields. I think the transdisciplinary studies at GSEP train you academically to be able to educate yourself in the necessary discipline when it is not your specialty and approach the project from that perspective. Going further, whether in academia or industry, we as scientists and engineers must always take into account the ethical and social considerations that go into our works. I believe the liberal arts studies with GSEP have prepared me well to do that reflection.

NTNU main campus


Who could fit to GSEP based on your own opinion?

Someone open to new experiences, who wish to explore themselves as well as what the world has to offer. GSEP exposes one to different scientific fields through studies and different points of view through the international community.

Any message to prospective students!

Good luck and I’m sure you won’t regret choosing GSEP.


Zolbayar Shagdar, graduated GSEP in 2020

“I graduated with the first batch of GSEP in 2020. After GSEP, I directed my focus more toward computer science and machine learning.”