A Rollercoaster Ride

Bina Antarbudaya
3 min readDec 25, 2022


Ni Made Pradnya Naraswari — INA AKP to Japan YP 22/23

It’s 7:30 AM. 32,500 ft high. The land below me is not Indonesia anymore. In just 15 minutes, a new big journey will begin.

Hello everyone! I am Pradnya Naraswari, an Asia Kakehashi YP 22/23 student from Indonesia. When I first came to Japan, I had no idea where and with whom I would stay. It made me even more nervous and excited at the same time. A few days later, I got information that my host family is in Zushi City, while my school placement is in Yokosuka City. So, how’s life so far?

If I have to describe it in one word, that would be: Rollercoaster. なんで?なんで?

Zushi is a small yet beautiful city in Kanagawa Prefecture. Everything about Zushi, the beach; food; people, make me fall in love since the first day I arrived here. During the beginning of my stay here, my host family helped me so much to get used to Japan’s life. My host family consists of six people, but then I came, and now it’s a family of seven people! Every day feels so alive and fun. On the first day of school, my mother took us to school by car because my host brother misread the train schedule and we were almost late. Luckily, we came just in time. Apparently, my student advisor has been waiting for us. I did an introduction in front of all the teachers and staff and was interviewed by the school principal.

Welcome surprise from classmates

My school is not like a typical Japanese school. The curriculum, called the comprehensive system, allows students to choose subjects based on their interests. That’s why we have to move class every time. I was shocked because I needed to choose between more than 50 subjects. Many subjects are not available in my school in Indonesia and it made me even more confused. However, since I have a moving class, that’s also a great chance for me to get many friends at school by meeting many different people in every subject. Even though I often get lost at school because I don’t know where my next class is.

Talking about extracurricular activity, I’m in 書道部 (Calligraphy Club). For me, every brush stroke when making calligraphy has a deep meaning and part of emotion control. During 文化祭 or School Art Festival, I had a chance to join performance with my friends. It was not easy, but I tried my best to make it. We practiced almost everyday and I was very moved by how supportive they are to me.

Performance at School Art Festival

In Japan, summer vacation means lots of festivals! There was a two-day festival near our house. My host family opened 金魚すくい (goldfish scooping), ぷよぷよボール (Puyo-Puyo ball), and sold handmade earrings. A lot of people came until we had to arrange a long queue. They were not only Japanese but also many foreigners. I learned how to sell something and get other people to buy it. I met many kinds of customers while practicing my Japanese too. But, to be honest, I had a little difficulty speaking Japanese spontaneously. Also, some people were curious about Bahasa Indonesia, so I spoke Bahasa Indonesia a few times. For some moments, switching between three languages, English; Japanese; Bahasa Indonesia, was challenging because I got confused several times. However, I managed the situation successfully. Thus, LANGUAGE IS NOT A BARRIER!

Goldfish Scooping (金魚すくい) in the Festival

Finally, you can see that exchange student life is like a rollercoaster. It has many ups and downs. Scared, excited, tired, anxious, confused, and happy all at once. Living in a totally new environment is not easy, but surely I will learn. No words can describe how grateful I am for being in this situation. Cheers to more rollercoaster memories!



Bina Antarbudaya

The Indonesian Foundation for Intercultural Learning Official Partner of AFS Programs