Meet Amalie Holst Nielsen in World Campus – Japan Program 2014!

Amalie Holst NielsenMy name is Amalie Holst Nielsen I am 23 years old and from Denmark.

Currently, I am studying International development studies and Business Studies at Roskilde University, where the main way to study is by working in groups. Through my experience in group work, it has taught me the importance of cooperation, compromise and what can be achieved by working together.

Cultural studies and voluntary work have always interested me and have a big influence over the choices that I make in life. For these reasons I travelled with the development organization Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke to Kenya in 2009 and Israel and Palestine in 2012. Through these travels I gained a lot of experience in international group work, and discovered the importance of cultural exchange, which are some of my main interests.

After hearing Hiro-san giving a lecture at my university on World Campus International, I joined the program last summer, where we were able to see a more authentic side of Japan, than you would be given as a tourist, by being invited into people’s home and through local interaction, which proved to be an incredible experience and very learning.

After this trip I was convinced that WCI is an organization that I was very interested to be involved in, in order to be able to give others the same unique experience of Japan that I had been given last summer.

Looking forward to see you in Japan!

Best regards

Amalie Holst Nielsen (Denmark)

Meet Joakim in World Campus – Japan Program 2014!


Hello guys!

My name is Joakim. I’m Norwegian, I’m currently doing a bachelor in mathematics. I’ve grown to be very found of some parts of modern and traditional Japanese culture, such as visual kei, igo and shogi. This year, I’ll be one of the World Campus –Japan Program (WCJ) counselors!

For me, this is a great opportunity to give back to something that is very important to me. I first travelled with WCJ three years ago, and it was such an impactful experience that I repeated it the following year. My first time with WCJ was the first time for lot of things – it was my first time in Japan, my first time staying in a host family, and my first time meeting people from China, The Netherlands, USA and other places. These are among all unique experiences WCJ has offered and that is very important for me. I hope that all participants this year will also enjoy these unique experiences, possibly for the first time.

WCJ has given me a unique possibility to meet and interact with people from different cultures. In particular, it has made it possible to come very close to the Japanese culture via activities and, most importantly, host families. For me to be able to give something back to WCJ and make sure that you will have just as great experiences as I’ve had is something that I’m looking forward to do.

I can’t wait to meet all of you, and I’m sure we will have an enjoyable time together!

Joakim (Norway)

Meet Iris Spruit in World Campus – Japan Program 2014!

Iris SpruitHi everyone!

My name is Iris Spruit and I’m from the Netherlands. I will be one of the program counselors this summer and I’m very excited to be part of the staff this year. We will do our best to make your experience in this year’s World Campus – Japan unforgettable.

I have a great interest in Japan and its culture and that is why I’m studying Japanese at Leiden University. In addition, I’m studying psychology, because I have a great interest in people and especially in how the brain works. I really enjoy my studies and my life in Leiden.

It is a great opportunity for me to be a program counselor this year. This will be my third time traveling with World Campus and my second time being a counselor for World Campus – Japan. I had a great time the last two times. The first time I traveled with World Campus International was the first time I went to Japan. I was quite nervous to stay in host families and meet so many different people, but it was just so awesome! My host families were all really nice and I really enjoyed meeting so many people from different countries. I learned a lot about Japan and the world. The next year I was given the opportunity to be a counselor. It was hard work but it was worth it and it was a great experience for me. This year I will be back as a counselor again and I’m really looking forward to it.

I’m really excited to get to know you all!

Iris Spruit (the Netherlands)

Meet Espen Auseth Nielsen in World Campus – Japan Program 2014!

Espen Auseth Nielsen


My name is Espen and I’ll be one of the counselors for World Campus – Japan Program this year. I come from Trondheim, Norway, where I am currently studying mathematics.

My first exposure to Japan was watching Japanese television on the internet while I was enrolled in high school. My friend, who was really into languages, talked me into studying some Japanese, and I have now been studying it as a hobby for almost 6 years. Other hobbies I foster are playing Go and reading, and I recently took up bicycling.

I have been to Japan three times. Once for academic reasons, once on holiday and once with World Campus International. Hands down, World Campus – Japan absolutely offers the best experience possible! Japan has tons of stuff in store for you if you are willing to seek it out. My advice to you is to take every opportunity you get, and take the initiative to create these opportunities!

While travelling with World Campus International, I learned a lot. Naturally, I realized that I had no idea what Japan was about before, but I also learned things about myself. I used to consider myself to be rather introverted and shy, but I was surprised at how easy it was to completely turn such things around given the right environment.

Let’s be honest. If you are thrown into a completely new environment with a foreign culture, different customs, and couple that with language problems, chances are you’ll experience some form of culture shock. You might get homesick, irritable, depressed or tired, or all of the above. We’ve all been there. We counselors will be there to get you back on your feet so you can enjoy everything Japan, and World Campus – Japan, has to offer! WCJ introduced me to a lot of very fun and nice people, some of which I now think of as family. I hope that you will have a similar experience.

I’m looking forward to seeing you in Japan!

Espen Auseth Nielsen (Norway)

Meet Jurrien Theunisz in World Campus – Japan Program 2014!

Jurrien Theunisz
Hey there!

My name is Jurrien Theunisz and I’m from a little country in Northern Europe, namely the Netherlands. Some people call ‘The Netherlands’, ‘Holland’ and in Japan this country is known as ‘oranda’. Despite the many names, not much about this country, it’s language, it’s culture and it’s food are known to people from other countries in the world. This I kept noticing every time I traveled and I’ve enjoyed telling people about this little country.

I grew up in the south of the Netherlands. I lived a fairly normal life. My views on the future and my future job kept changing as I grew up. In elementary school I got interested in exotic, weird, different, adventurous cultures and countries. Especially the adventurous and unknown attracted me. At this time my dream job was archeologist, discovering hidden temples and tombs in Egypt in search of culture, uncrackable languages and treasure. In high school this desire for the unknown and adventure shifted to the future instead of the past. I then sought adventure in science. I hoped to make discoveries in math, physics or chemistry leading to an interesting and maybe adventurous future. In the later years of my high school life I started meeting more people of different countries and regained my interest in different cultures and languages. I also had to think more about the future as I had to choose what I would do next. I made some contacts that introduced me to Japanese language and culture through pop culture and ended up really interested in both. Instead of an unlikely scientific discovery, leading to adventure, I decided to try my luck in Japanese language and culture.

After high school I started studying Japanese in Leiden University. The city of Leiden is a lively student city with many bicycles and Cannels. There are many student associations and as such many activities to do. From extra readings to supplement one’s knowledge to All-you-can-drink beer drinking nights that have the opposite effect.

Japanstudies in the university offers a variety of subjects teaching Japanese culture to students and the language program is quite big as well. I really enjoy studying in this university. More practical forms of the Japanese culture can also e experienced through the student association of Japanstudies, Tanuki. Tanuki has a Yosakoi team and it’s own soccer team. They also give workshops in Calligraphy and sometimes extra lecture. Me, myself am part of the Soccer club, called Banzai. We often train together with Japanese exchange students and sometimes play against Japanese players giving us a good opportunity to meet Japanese people in a fun setting.

After the first year I ended up at a presentation about World Campus – Japan and this immediately caught my interest. I joined several sessions and during this time I really felt like an adventurer! With limited knowledge of the Japanese language and culture I travelled through this strange country and met people who were seemingly different. They were all so kind and hospitable. The food culture was great and the pop culture weird! I experienced many new things and loved all of it. Coming back from this trip made me realize many things. I definitely made the right study choice and would definitely return to this country I got to love many more times in the future. This is where I am now and where I’ll be heading from now on, the future… Japan…