For Kyle, The Canada-Japan Co-op Program was a springboard that helped propel him to where he is today. Having spent one year in Kyoto, Japan working for Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), Kyle gained plenty of knowledge, skills and work experience. He helped develop a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the teleoperation of multiple social robots, assisted with the research , and conducted experiments both in and out of the lab. However, the most memorable part of his time in Japan was the people he met. Through encounters with locals, others from Canada, and even those from other parts of the world, Kyle had found friends he has forged lifelong bonds with.
The connections he made while in Japan are helped him return to Japan again in 2017, five years after completing his undergraduate degree in Software Engineering at Concordia University. His experience living in Japan and the network he acquired meant he could get reference letters for graduate school in Japan from Japanese professionals. This became a huge asset as he applied for and received a scholarship offered by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). With the help of this scholarship, Kyle is now pursuing a PhD in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Nagoya in Nagoya, Japan under his current professor and supervisor who was one of his coworkers from his time at ATR. His participation in The Canada-Japan Co-op Program positively impacted his future, and as Kyle puts it, “it’s more than just a work term, it’s a great life experience.”