Student Exchange Story: Romie Christian Paparang at St. Andrew University - Osaka - Japan

18 Agu 2019

During September 2018 until February 2019, I spent my seventh semester by joining Student Exchange program in St. Andrew’s University in Osaka, Japan. Having a chance to join this program was a meaningful experience for me. Simply, it gave me an essential thing to my life; a better understanding of myself.

First, I got to manage myself through habitual life activities; such as sorting things out based on what I need the most or finding out the best rhythm of my everyday needs (e.g. buying necessities, washing clothes, or cleaning the bathroom). Moreover, I learnt to be more independent and organized. Not only figuring the effective solutions for daily problems, but also maintaining the personal costs to fulfill all my needs. After all, I think it’s important, since formal education doesn’t teach us how to live practically. Thus, that is something we should experience by ourselves.

Next, studying abroad improved both my English and Japanese communication skill. I should use English almost every time; hence, it pushed me to improve my English skill holistically. Moreover, as I lived in Japan, my Japanese skill became better too. Only few Japanese understand English, so it helped me to practice my Japanese not only theoretically, but also practically.

Finally, living in another country taught me to understand the culture differences. From my own observation, I could imply that Japanese people has a better social manner compared to Indonesia. For instance, in Osaka, we can’t stand wherever we want on elevator; the right side of the elevator belongs to the people who want to stand still, and the left side is intended to the people who want to walk faster. It took time for me to get used to it, but I think it is helpful for my personal common senses. Overall, change always starts from a little action, isn’t it?

Afterward, I think, joining the International Program offered by Tourism and Leisure Management gives you opportunities to get a better understanding of yourself. Of course, not only Student Exchange, but also other International Program such as Double Degree or International Internship. It will challenge you to step out from your comfort zone, yet, you will experience lot of things you have never expected before.



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