Ai Takahashi (Kwansei Gakuin University)

I could enjoy my life in UNPAR and Bandung for five months. I really appreciate everyone’s kindness and help.

When I landed on Bandung in August, I was very worried about my life because I could not understand Bahasa well. Though I was lonely a little because there were a few Japanese and people who spoke Japanese in Bandung and Japanese student at UNPAR was only me, I had been looking forward to meeting teachers, the IO staff and students. Thanks to the IO staff and my student buddy, Nathaya, these worries eased soon. I could make friends with a lot of local students and Australian exchange students. Classes in UNPAR were student-centered and I felt that everyone studied hard. In my university, Kwansei Gakuin, many of classes are teacher-centered. So, I got motivation from UNPAR students.

Once a week, I joined Japanese class as a volunteer. Through the class, I noticed that Indonesian people confused the Japanese pronunciation of “su” and “tsu.” I learned various things rather than teaching. I think that language learning is one of the best  tool in order to connect people or countries. I hope students as many as possible are interested in Japan or Japanese culture through Japanese class in UNPAR.

While I lived in Indonesia, I could feel “Japan” because the city was overflowing with Japanese cars and bikes, Japanese restaurants, Japanese anime and so on. In Japan, on the other hand, many people would spring “Bali” if they were asked what Indonesia is. The reason is that guidebooks written about Java are quite a few, although so many guidebooks written about Bali are sold. Bali is a beautiful island, but I really love Java better. People are very kind. Food is very delicious. The suburbs are filled in beautiful nature. I feel there are many places I can introduce Japan. In future, I will tell about good points of Java. And also, I want Indonesia to send out Javanese attractiveness actively to Japan. I believe these actions would lead the growth of Japan-Indonesia exchanges.

I will never forget a good relationship and your kindness.

I hope student exchange between Japan and Indonesia keeps flourishing forever.