Last Ride

Bina Antarbudaya
3 min readFeb 16, 2024

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

In my previous story, when I said student exchange life is like a roller coaster ride, it represents the mixed feeling of excitement, scary, and anxious at the same time. Well, we have almost reached the end of this journey. Today, 9:45 A.M, 7 hours before returning home, I’m Pradnya Naraswari, writing this story for you.

Throwback to the last few months. It’s winter season in Japan, which is my first time experiencing super cold weather in my entire life. Growing up in a tropical country doesn’t make me hate winter, instead, this is my favorite season! I had many of my best memories during this season.

So far, I lived with three different host families here. To be honest, this is one of the most challenging yet best parts of my stay here. Moving many times means that I have to adapt and learn about the different cultures of every family. But, the good thing is that I feel like I have many people that look after me. Not only the main family but also the extended families are all very kind and supportive.

“お帰りナラス”(Welcome home, Naras)

“お疲れ様” (Good work! You did well)

Those two are my everyday favorite phrases. When I ring the bell and my host mother has been waiting for me. She opened the door with a warm smile on her face. God, I swear, this is my home! I remember on Christmas Day, a friend asked me “what do you want for Christmas?”. Well then, I think I’ve got mine.

(My host families)

After struggling with the new school system and environment, I finally got used to everything. The moving class system has opened good opportunities for me to be friends with many people. So, everywhere I go in the school, I see my friends who screamed from afar calling, “NARAS-chan”. The way they call my name “chan” is somehow cute and brings happiness which I won’t hear anymore in Indonesia. Every Wednesday, there is a lesson called “羅針” where all the students are given time to think and discuss what they want to do in the future. I personally really like this lesson because there I can know my friends’ goals which sometimes amazed and motivated me a lot. Japanese people are well-known for their hardworking character.

(Farewell party with my classmates)

Overall, it was a wonderful rollercoaster ride. I’m grateful that I’ve made most of my time with my host family and friends and tried many new things. They are the people that fully support me during this journey. It was a short meeting, but I believe what we’ve built is a lifetime relationship. There are times when I cry alone because things are just messed up, but there are more moments when I drown in extraordinary happiness. I found myself to have grown and learned a lot through the struggles. If I have the chance, I would like to ride this ride again and again. I don’t want this to end. But still, I’ve reached the terminal, where I have to say goodbye to all the good people I’ve met and keep the memories forever in my heart.




Bina Antarbudaya

The Indonesian Foundation for Intercultural Learning Official Partner of AFS Programs