Cloudy Sunday afternoon, 18 September 2016, at the corner of a famous coffee café in Soekarno Hatta Airport, a group of teenagers wearing casual comfy clothes chatted comfortably with each other surrounded by big luggage. The excitement was clearly seen. They were Madania group that would soon fly to Denpasar before Osaka, Japan, to start Madania Autumn Campus Tour in Japan 2016: Endless Discovery. Twenty four students from grade 9-12 were ready to join a friend from the twelfth grade who was in Fukuoka earlier to join the program. Japan was decided for the destination since we have increasing number of students who are interested in studying in Japan. The second reason to know more about Japan campuses is because of the various scholarships offered. One other reason is that a lot of programs are now offered in English. They could learn Japanese when they are admitted there.
Around seven-hour flight to Osaka from Denpasar was literally exhausting. Yet, the fire was still there once they landed in KIX, Kansai International Airport, Osaka. The spirit of the youth indeed. As planned, we headed to Rinku Premium Outlet to sightsee for a few hours before continuing the trip. By riding shinkansen we arrived in Hikata Station, Fukuoka and the very first stop there was the popular “Pokemon Center”. All kinds of monsters we usually tap in our cells were there before us. They radiated the colors and joy in their own unique ways towards our coming.
Upon the arrival in Fukuoka, we got the chance to visit the first campus, Asia Pacific University (APU). Despite the challenging weather due to the typhoon strike, it was still exciting. Meeting the faculty and our alumni there certainly gave a different vibe. We got a clear explanation about the international campus that still holds their composition until today with 50% Japanese and the other half of international students in the campus ranging from the admission, scholarships offered and a brief explanation about the life as a student in APU. Having had lunch in the cafeteria, we got to look around some campus facilities including library and its dormitory, AP House. Guided by three alumni of Madania, Arghya, Abyan and Abyan, we got to see the arrangements there. As the wind became a lot stronger and typhoon warning message was given, we rushed back to the bus that would take us to Fukuoka Airport. We were supposed to visit Kyushu University which is nearby. Due to the typhoon warning, we cancelled the program.
The flight that took us from Fukuka to Tokyo was really an experience we couldn’t forget. It was not only the delayed schedule but also the typhoon attack that shook the plane and literally everybody inside it. Thank God we made it.
We stayed in the same hotel in Tokyo for about three nights and visited three different campuses, Waseda University, Tokyo International University, and Tokyo University. The first two campuses in Tokyo we visited are private institutions. Yet, they offer various types of scholarship and English-based programs to invite more international students to come to Japan. Tokyo University or Todai as one of the imperial and oldest campuses has pretty much the same offers for international students.
We visited Asakusa Kannon Temple and Odaiba on the same day we went to the three campuses in Tokyo. It was packed indeed. Despite the limited time we had and a lot to be done, we had so much fun. There were many good lessons learnt as well, particularly how to manage and to be disciplined with the schedule set.
A day in Disney Sea wrapped up the tour. Despite the almost non-stop rain that day, each of the group members enjoyed the dreams offered by Disney. The spirit of believing in any dreams we have is truly echoed in the corners, rides, or even the shows there. Captain Hook, Maleficent, and Micky himself are the evidence on how great a dream can be when you pursue it.
Wise men say that great changes come from one person’s commitment, perseverance, and belief in his dream. Hopefully, the short trip would strengthen the determination and life goals the students have. Grab any opportunities to live the dreams that come along while discovering, inventing, and experiencing joy of life, your potentials, and desires you can take.
See you in another Campus Trip Program. (Yuyun Wachyuniah)