Please download the Journal article in Dutch: Journal-5-Ashwin.pdf (5 MB)
World Campus International – Japan
A unique experience in Japan
Hello! My name is Ashwin. Currently I am a third year undergraduate of Japanese Studies and also a proud third year member of the beautiful student society, Tanuki. Last summer, I experienced Japan via World Campus International; a non-profit organization which coordinates a program in Japan every year for students from all over the world. This program has changed me as a student, as person and as a citizen of the world, and I am here to tell you why!
The International Aspect
When I first joined the World Campus International group in Omura (Nagasaki-ken), I was the only Dutch in a group full of strangers. I felt alone. I didn’t know any of those people, and to be honest, I was a little bit uncomfortable thinking that I would be spending most of my time with a bunch them. Those feelings vanished fast after the first day. Over a short period of time, I talked, laughed, cried, shared all kinds of thoughts and emotions, sang and even danced so much with these “strangers”. Each and every one of them conquered a special place in my heart and I now call them friends. I still speak to most of them via Facebook, Skype and chat. Some have even come to visit me in the Netherlands. It still seems strange and mind-boggling to state that I have friends from all over the world! But after my experience with WCI Japan last summer, I cannot deny it or say it in any other way. I became friends with people from Mexico, Denmark, China, Korea, the USA, Canada, Italy, Austria, Norway, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Myanmar and Japan of course. Together we discussed worldly issues such as international relations (Japan – America, for instance), topics about Japan (the Japanese school system, culture, music, etc.) and issues about the country were each of the participants were from. In my case, I got to share the Netherlands and its culture (Huis den Bosch, the Dutch drug policy, bicycles, and stroopwafels.) Ideas were shared, emotions were expressed and jokes were told within a close group of people from different countries and a variety of cultures. It was a unique experience for me to see so many nationalities together sharing the same passion… Japan!
Continue reading WCI Summer 2009 Program alumnus, Ashwin Ramjiawan, writes a WCI article in Leiden University, the Netherlands