Last November, I was fortunate enough to be selected to join the Autumn iteration of the Japanese-Language Programme for Outstanding Students of JF Japanese-Language Courses sponsored by The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai.
By the end of the trip, I not only gained new friends and extra knowledge but also a lot of precious memories and first-time encounters too! Among them were:
- Getting acquainted with traditional Japanese cultural activities | While practising shodo (calligraphy) is said to be a calming exercise in concentration, wadaiko is the complete opposite. Beating the drums left me weary but I had a tonne of fun.
- Discovering ancient Tokyo at the Edo-Tokyo Museum | A guide brought us around and gave very detailed explanations on the lifestyles of Edo period society. I was especially impressed with the unique designs of the era’s buildings.
- Learning lifesaving techniques at the Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park | I was taught the ways to protect myself in case an earthquake strikes and how to survive the first 72 hours in times of natural adversity. It was extremely valuable for participants like me who reside in countries less prone to such calamities.
- Meeting my host family through a homestay programme | My newfound family took me to their ancestral home that is more than a hundred years old, as well as treated me to a traditional Japanese pot stew. It was really oishi (delicious)!
I am very grateful that I could be a part of this study trip. It was very meaningful because I got the chance to apply what I’ve learnt all these years. The tour has truly enhanced my language learning experience as a whole and motivated me to continue my journey of personal development.
by Wong Lai Yin | 30 November–14 December, 2016