Living a Dream

Bina Antarbudaya
4 min readFeb 17, 2024

Rhodora Aliah Natasukarya–INA AKP to JPN YP 22/23

A once in a lifetime experience. That is exactly how I would say about my exchange journey in Japan. I still could not believe that I’m here and living my dream. It feels surreal. 8 months gone by so fast that I feel like I’m on a jet plane. I have experienced so many things since the first day I arrived here, and it hasn’t stopped since then.

Looking back to June 2022, I still remember the feeling of excitement and relief that I have already made it to sit down on the airplane seat, which is just like everybody said, “You will officially be an exchange student if you already sit down on the airplane seat.” At that moment, I knew that an incredible journey was just steps ahead.

These past 8 months were filled with wonderful memories, and my host family played such a big part in it. My host family brought me to a lot of places and made me experience great things. They took me to places that I wanted to visit, took me to eat the food that I wanted to eat, made me experience Japanese traditions, and spent so many times together.

I could see the snow falling from the window in my bedroom. The dream of playing in the snow and feeling the softness and the coldness of that white and sparkly thing has been realized. Snow was everywhere here in Morioka. The coldness could not stop me from touching the snow with my bare hands, I was so happy. My host family brought me to try skiing and snowboarding. They really made the best experiences for me. The feeling of loneliness didn’t get to me, not even once. And that’s because my host family really made me feel that I’m not alone here and made me feel at home. How lucky I was to be a part of this warm and caring family. They really made my exchange life so much better.

A picture of me when I went skiing
My host family and I went skiing and snowboarding

My last day of school was a gloomy yet a memorable day. That day started off good, no feeling of crying had gotten to my mind, I had prepared. But that didn’t last, my tears just came down to my cheek once I heard my name being called by my friends and saw them in class. They hugged me, and I was not the only person who cried, they cried too. That moment made me realize how much I love them and how lucky I was to have them.

The chime rang, the class finished, and it was time to go home. I went up to in front of my class and did my speech. Yeah, you guessed it right, I cried a lot. My voice was breaking while I was doing my speech. Fortunately, I could finish my speech. Some of my classmates cried too. I didn’t expect that my friends would cry. They gave me tons of presents.

Actually, I still went to school the next day but only for school orientation. I had to stay in the school library a whole day and wasn’t allowed to go to my class, so I couldn’t meet my friends. I was sitting and reading in the library when I heard the sound of someone’s running. The door opened, and what a surprise, it was my friends who ran to the library to meet me. They would come to the library after every period, and they even ate lunch with me in the library. It’s time to go home, I got ready to ride my last school bus home. My friends came with me to ride my last school bus. I was very grateful for my friends; they were one of the best things that came into my life.

Me and my friends
My last night in Morioka

My exchange journey is almost over, but that doesn’t mean that I’m finished. I believe that there’s always a new beginning for every end. I would never forget all the memories that I’ve made here. This journey is genuinely life changing, and I’m thankful and grateful for everything that happened. Goodbye Morioka, goodbye Japan, till we meet again.

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Bina Antarbudaya

The Indonesian Foundation for Intercultural Learning Official Partner of AFS Programs