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Reflections from the Japan Credit Transfer Program (6 Sep - 6 Oct 2012)

Konnichiwa!  Having this chance to visit, live and study in Japan is one of the most spectacular experiences we’ve ever had.  It was a new experience for us as we’ve never left our families or travel overseas alone before, so it was pretty hard for us to contain our excitement.   


We were thrilled when we arrived at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU), captivated by the beautiful scenery. The APU campus is on a mountain!  Life in APU was very different. We managed our own schedule and took care of our own daily needs, including washing laundry, motivating ourselves to study, attending classes on time and sometimes cooking our own meals.    


Our lecturer at APU, Professor Adihkary was really patient with us and did his best to ensure that we understood the lessons.  We also took time out to relax, play table tennis, basketball, pool and even foosball.  Occasionally, we would make a trip to Beppu, a nearby town, to enjoy the nightlife and try some local delicacies. We visited Mt Aso, an active volcano, and Yufuin, a small traditional-looking Japanese town where we bought lots of souvenirs.  


We learnt about Japanese culture through its tea ceremony and flower arrangement lessons. We visited Toyota Motor Corporation and witnessed cars being manufactured. At the Sapporo Beer factory, we saw the brewing process and discovered how beer is produced. However, we were unable to try the beer as we are underage. 


A month passed by quickly, and soon it was time for us to return to Singapore. We were reluctant to leave.  We were just course mates in the beginning, feeling awkward talking to each other. But as days went by and we surmounted challenges together, our friendship grew stronger.  One of my roommates said “在家靠父母,出外靠朋友” which means that “At home you can depend on your parents and when you are away, you depend on your friends”.   We learnt to be more independent and to look out for our friends.  This trip has indeed brought us closer.  This is so true because we took care of one another when we fell sick!    Looking back, nothing could beat the time we spent in the hostel where we laughed and sang our hearts out. 


We like to thank our lecturer, Mr. Kenneth Tai, for organising the trip, and SP for giving us this great opportunity to experience Japan!  Domo Arigato!  


Note: The Japan Credit Transfer Program was attended by 24 second year students from Diploma in Banking and Finance.  The program allows students to complete the Corporate Finance module during the Semester One vacation at a selected overseas university.  



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