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Japan – Alina

Alina walking the streets of Japan with a temple in the backgroundAlina eating ramen in Japan

Student: Alina
Course: Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations)
Program: ArtsEd Japanese Politics, Society & Culture Study Tour in T3 2023
International student grant recipient 

Alina is an international student from Ukraine.

Tell us about your life abroad.

I have travelled to Japan, one of the world's most beautiful countries. The culture was completely different from what I used to. It was much more peaceful and magnificent. We spent time during the red leaf season, which put the whole country into warm colours.

This weather appreciation was so different to the Australian attitude. Besides incredible beaches, nobody talks much about its flora and fauna.

My usual day went like this: early rise, breakfast, then a trip to the university, where we listened to lectures, lunch break and classes until 5 pm. After that – free time, I spent either on events, trips with friends or museums. On our free days, we travelled a lot and immersed ourselves in the culture of our host country.

I spent both pairs of free weekends travelling for the first weekend I spent in Tokyo upstate Kamakura. The second one was my private trip to Kyoto, my lifelong dream.

What I liked most was the fruit in a glass made from sugar syrup – a very unusual but incredibly tasty type of street food.

Most of the friends that I made were people on the program either from the Australian or Japanese side. What we usually do is spend our time discovering Japanese culture, going together to different events, or eating exciting food.

Tell us about the program that you undertook.

I never had a second thought about Japan since it was my dream to go there. My biggest challenge was appearing in a new country with a known language and different traditions completely separated from what I had experienced before.

[My advice to students preparing to study abroad] Be prepared not to understand anything and still have fun with what you are doing. You can control everything. You will probably make a few huge mistakes, but that's okay. That's how you experience the culture.

I will never forget the view of Mount Fuji, which we saw on the way to Hiroshima – one of the most incredible wonders of nature, which is truly worth seeing at least once in your life.

My trip costs around 9000 AUD. Various Deakin grants covered half of it. The rest was my savings. The program covered towards my elective. Overall, it helped me understand a new culture with which I am supposed to interact in my career.

Tell us about travelling further as an international student.

I've spent my entire life travelling. This is another opportunity to learn something new in the context of my future profession and not just as a tourist.

Do not delay and submit your application right now, you never know where you will need this or that experience, and it is best to have as much of it as possible.

The grant partially covered the program's costs and helped me financially ease the problem of preparing for the trip.

Learn more about faculty-led study abroad programs

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