The First Term (26 July – 22 November 2006)
of Asian Youth Fellowship(AYF) Program, Osaka, Japan
Let me begin with some reasons why I came to Japan before telling what I have learnt in AYF program. Studying in Japan is my goal in life. I have this dream since I was in high school 1998. My school director and other teachers are admired the students who come to study in Japan very much. There was only one student from my high school who came to study in Japan when I was here, and everyone admired him. My school director often praise him in front of all the students and teachers in every morning after the nation anthem. It seemed that he was a hero in our school. This inspired me a lot to have such a dream to study in Japan. In addition, my parents as well as my friends were really encouraged me to come to Japan. They gave me a lot of encouragement, advice and hope in order to win a scholarship to study in Japan. Therefore, studying in Japan was such a big dream that I had had in my life. Finally, I did make this dream come true after many times of failures, and everyone deeply appreciates my sincere effort and determination.
At the first time I arrived in Japan; everything was new for me though I have been abroad several times. Japan is like a new world and a stepping stone for me. I remember the first day I did shopping with my friends. I couldn’t buy any thing because most of the produces are in Japanese, and I couldn’t understand Japanese at all at that time. Thus, I came back the center with free hand.
On the second day of orientation and welcome reception, I was cautioned by my senior for being a participant of AYF program. He said, “I know you all are such smart students that’s why you were selected, but one thing that I would to remind you is: when the smart people come together there might be a big trouble happened if you don’t listen each other or not willing to learn from one another.” I do appreciate this advice. Since we are from different backgrounds, religions and cultures, we often see things in different ways. Thus we should appreciate and open mind for other people’s view.
Hence sharing the opportunity to each other in order to express their own perspective or ideas is a great way to learn from one another. I see eye to eye that my batch mates are so clever in pressing their own ideas but unlikely there is few people who is willing to listen the others’ ideas. Sometimes people are just pretending to listen to others and waiting for their turn to speak. Hence one thing that I wish it would include in AYF program which was the active listening skills. No matter how silly other people’s ideas would be, respecting and sharing chance with one another are the great way to improve ourselves by learning from others.
However, besides this point there are so many good things that I have learnt during my first term in AYF program which make my stay in Japan so enjoyable and unforgettable.
The AYF fellows 11 batch are really smart they learn things so quick and great. They have made their Japanese teachers and Japanese people amaze of their ability to speak or learn the Japanese language. Within about 3 months they finished the Minna no Nihongo book I & II, and can talk to Japanese people and made a presentation in Japanese very well. Moreover, their writing does surprises many others. They wrote very creative and interesting newspapers about their daily lives and study lives in Japan.
Regardless of a few misunderstanding, the fellows have a very close and wonderful relationship among the batch members and other people from other programs in the Kansai center. They take care each other, share one another the sadness and happiness. They live lives as if they are in the same family; they develop a relationship in term of a brotherhood and sisterhood in which it gives me a dream to foresee the ASEAN family in the future – we will no longer a ten nations but a nation of ASEAN. Beyond the ASEAN family, they do have a brother and sister from Bangladesh who is a great partnership for the future development of our nations.
On the other, great things (not bad things) that I learn from Japanese people are the responsibility and service beyond expectation. Based on my 4 months experience in Japan, I would say that Japanese people give a very high value on their duty and responsibilities. They are very dedicated themselves to their work; they put sincere effort and heart into what they do. Moreover, they are very patient and kind. For instance, our teachers have spent their own time including the weekend to go out with us, play with us, help us and take care of us. Their help and regard are very pure and patient. They do it from their heart; they give us without expecting something in return. As a mater of fact, I had a very difficulty of study Japanese at the beginning. My teachers were very worry a lot about me. I was touched by their love and kindness. Through their eyes, words and actions they make me feel that this place is my real home. With their great assistance and my determination I discovered a great way to learn Japanese language. The matter was I put a limitation into my mind that I was not good at remembering new vocabulary and so on. Once I started to brake down my belief, there was a way and there was a will that I can take over it. It was such a great experience for me to learn from myself and break limitation from my mind and to discover the new way of learning. One that I have to believe is: “the way I see the world determine my behavior in that world” or “when I change, the world changes”.
In conclusion, this essay could suggest in following ideas:
- We should have a dream since it is rudder that will determine the direction and course of your ship of life, and we should also surround ourselves with loving and supportive people so that we can reach our dream easier.
- Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
- Respect and appreciate the loveliness of yourself, others and life.
- Relationship is everything. Some people can lend you an eye when you cannot see, lend you an ear when you cannot hear, lend you mouse when you cannot eat…Be on good term to all people.
- Develop new and interesting ways to do things and see life. When the problem is small, improve your thinking. When the problem is big, change the way you think.
- Lend a hand freely, helping in any situation. Experience in giving people without expectation in return, and provide service beyond expectation.