Geneva Tomonkai

About the Geneva Tomonkai

Established nearly 20 years ago, the Geneva Tomonkai promotes connections among Waseda alumni and exchange students from Waseda living in and around Geneva, Switzerland, and neighboring France. It is a rather small Tomonkai with a membership of around 20, many of whom work for international organizations and government agencies. As Geneva is home to numerous research and academic institutions, such as the University of Geneva, we host multiple exchange students from Waseda every year.

Our events, like a family barbecue at a member’s house, have a cozy atmosphere that only small-group gatherings can provide. We also jointly organize social gatherings with the Geneva Mita-kai of Keio University. Throughout the period of Covid-19 restrictions, we have kept our activities going, holding online parties and other such events.
Hikaru Kozuki (Graduated in 1996, School of Political Science and Economics)


Barbecue-Sushi-Ohagi party at a member’s home in France near Geneva in fall 2019

The attractive points of Geneva

The second largest Swiss city after Zurich, Geneva is a beautiful city located on the southwestern end of Lake Geneva. Surrounded by France on three sides, with shared borders to the east, west, and south, this French- speaking city has a large number of cross-border commuters. Geneva has been home to many international organizations, including the League of Nations and the United Nations before and after World War II, respectively, and is the hub of world-class political and academic agencies. Meanwhile, old, traditional private banks line the southern shores of Lake Geneva, catering to the wealthy individuals from around the world.

The population of Switzerland is roughly 8.5 million, and that of Geneva around 500,000, which is about the same as the population of Japan’s provincial cities. A little less than 4,000 Japanese citizens live in Geneva and its vicinity, and many Japanese tourists visit the city that serves as a gateway to the European Alps. The city center is dotted with parks while the suburbs are endowed with sprawling nature that provides chances to encounter horses, cows, and sheep. From Lake Geneva stretching out right in front of you to the ski resorts and golf courses that are just 30 minutes’ drive away, Geneva has so much to offer and our members are enjoying their lives both professionally and personally.
Hikaru Kozuki (Graduated in 1996, School of Political Science and Economics)


The United Nations Headquarters, Geneva

The Jet d’Eau water fountain, a famous feature of Lake Geneva, seen beyond the boat

Message from the Chairperson

Tucked into the center of Europe, Switzerland is a small country with roughly the same area as the island of Kyushu and a population of around 8.5 million, a quarter of which are non-Swiss citizens. The country has four official languages, maintains its own currency independent of the EU, and has unique political features such as the referendum and the policy of permanent neutrality.

Located in southwestern Switzerland, Geneva is home to many international organizations and famous for its watch and tourism industries as well as traditional private banks. Its inconvenient accessibility due to a dearth of direct flights from large countries is said to have helped the city to quietly protect the assets of the world’s wealthy for years.

Since it was established some 20 years ago, the Geneva Tomonkai has organized many events designed to provide an opportunity for its members to interact with each other. Our association consists of members with a wide range of occupations, and in recent years, exchange students from Japan have also been actively taking part and helping our activities thrive. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our activities, and restrictions on travel from overseas remain in place for the time being, but we are eagerly waiting for the day when we will be able to resume international exchange. All of us at the Geneva Tomonkai are looking forward to welcoming our fellow alumni.
Yoichi Murata (Graduated in 1984, School of Political Science and Economics)

Messages from the Members

Despite being small, Geneva is very much an international city, housing many international organizations, embassies and other such organizations. There are lots of international couples, and families using multiple languages—their mother language, English, and French, for example—to communicate with each other are not unusual. Many of our members are long-time expatriates and are happy to share interesting stories at Tomonkai events. We welcome not only fellow alumni but also exchange students from Waseda. Don’t be intimidated that this is a French-speaking area and come visit us.
Yoshiyuki Matsuo (Graduated in 1987, School of Law)

I never imagined that there would come a day when I would swing up my fist and sing “Waseda, Waseda” in Geneva. It is known as an international city; whether you are on the streets, at work, or with friends, it’s often the case that each person around you has a different nationality. So when I meet fellow alumni here, just the fact that I’m talking to people who went to the same university as myself makes me happy, and I can’t help but feel like I’ve known them for a long time. The opportunities to connect with fellow alumni succeeding in various fields after graduation—even when we are abroad—through the Tomonkai network is one of the great aspects of Waseda University.
Nobue Yazawa (Graduated in 2003, School of Letters, Arts and SciencesⅠ)

By joining the Tomonkai, I got to meet many fellow Waseda alumni who are thriving in various fields in Switzerland. International organizations are one such place where you encounter quite a lot of people who have graduated from Waseda University. No matter which part of the world you go to, there is a Tomonkai that allows you to network with fellow alumni, and this is a huge benefit of being a Waseda alumnus. I intend to continue to cherish my Waseda connections in various locations around the world.
Shusuke Oyobe (Graduated in 2009, School of Law)

Located in an area packed with buildings that house international organizations and foreign missions, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) is a graduate school symbolic of the international city Geneva, drawing students and researchers from over 100 countries. It is also one of Waseda University’s overseas partner higher education institutions. While little known in Japan, the school’s graduates enjoy successful careers not only in international development but also in a variety of fields. How about earning a degree in a program taught in English while living in a French-speaking city in Switzerland? Interacting with fellow alumni at the Geneva Tomonkai events in between your studies can be a wonderful opportunity to relax and refresh.
Hibiki Urano (Graduate in 2018, School of International Liberal Studies)


Joint party with Mita-kai at a member’s home in summer 2019

List of Overseas Branches/
Overseas Tomonkai/
Overseas Tomonkai
Japanese Branches

Overseas Branches
Alumni Association in China / Alumni Association in Korea / Alumni Association in Taiwan
Overseas Tomonkai
Asia
Bangalore Tomonkai / Bangkok Tomonkai / Beijing Tomonkai / Cambodia Tomonkai /
Dalian Tomonkai / Hanoi Tomonkai / Hong Kong Tomonkai / India Tomonkai /
Jakarta Tomonkai / Kanan (South China) Tomonkai / Malaysia Tomonkai / Manila Tomonkai / Mumbai Tomonkai / Myanmar Tomonkai / Saigon Tomonkai / Seoul Tomonkai / Shanghai Tomonkai / Singapore Tomonkai / Suzhou Tomonkai / Taipei Tomonkai / Ulan Bator Tomonkai
Oceania
Brisbane Tomonkai / Melbourne Tomonkai / Perth Tomonkai / Sydney Tomonkai
North America
Boston Tomonkai / Chicago Tomonkai / Georgia Tomonkai / Hawaii Tomonkai / Los Angeles Tomonkai / Michigan Tomonkai / New York Tomonkai / San Francisco Tomonkai / Seattle Tomonkai / Toronto Tomonkai / Vancouver Tomonkai / Greater Washington Tomonkai
Central and South America
Brazil Tomonkai / Chile Tomonkai / Lima Tomonkai / Mexico Tomonkai
Europe
Belgium Tomonkai / Berlin Tomonkai / Denmark Tomonkai / Dusseldorf Tomonkai /
Frankfurt Tomonkai / Geneva Tomonkai / Moscow Tomonkai / Netherlands Tomonkai / Paris Tomonkai / Stockholm Tomonkai / UK Tomonkai
Middle East
Abu Dhabi Tomonkai / Dubai Tomonkai / Qatar Tomonkai / Tehran Tomonkai
Africa
Egypt Tomonkai / Johannesburg Tomonkai / Kenya Tomonkai
Overseas Tomonkai Japanese Branches
Bangkok Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Beijing Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Dusseldorf Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Gaoxiong Tomonkai Alumni Association / Hanoi Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Jakarta Tomonkai Alumni Association / Los Angeles Tomonkai Japan / New York Tomonkai Tokyo Branch /
Paris Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Saigon Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Shanghai Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Singapore Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Tokyo Brazil Tomonkai / Tokyo Hong Kong Tomonkai / Tokyo Melbourne Tomonkai / UK Tomonkai Tokyo Branch