My Story in Niigata

Bina Antarbudaya
4 min readFeb 25, 2024


Zeydan Viranda Saylen–INA AKP to JPN YP 22/23

This photo is taken just before the summit started on the outside of the building where the summit was held

Hi! Zeydan here! I will tell you about my experience as a representative of an exchange student participating in a study tour and summit which was held in Niigata from October 17 to October 20. This is the most memorable experience in my life as an exchange student, so enjoy!

First thing first, just for your information that there are 3 choices of places to be used as study tour destinations. I chose Tokamachi City. Because when I try to look at it on Google, it comes out that this city is a small town that has a rural feel and is surrounded by mountains. Really refreshing eyes.

After study tours, all groups will need to gather in Niigata City to do the Summit for 2 days.

So many interesting things happened while in Niigata. So I will only explain 2 interesting things in my opinion from all the experiences I had in Niigata.

The first interesting memory is the beautiful mountain and the countryside views. I am very grateful to have chosen the city of Tokamachi as my study tour destination. Especially when visiting the fifth destination in Tokamachi city and when leaving the hotel in the morning.

Photos taken at the fifth destination from Tokamachi City called the Tunnel of Light. The first image is a landscape photo taken from the big hole in the tunnel. The second picture shows a tunnel with unique lights on the sides.

The Fifth Destination of Tokamachi City is called the Tunnel of Light. Yes, actually the view of the photo above was taken while in the tunnel. The tunnel is very long and is located inside the mountain. On the sides of the tunnel there are colored lights that change color after a certain number of meters. Then there are some big holes to see the beautiful natural scenery. Of all the study tour experiences in Niigata, this place is my favorite because I like the atmosphere and the scenery. It’s also very memorable.

This photo is a view of the city of Tokamachi taken early in the morning on the bus after a night at the hotel.

After spending the night at the Tokamachi City hotel, we continued to go to the next study tour destination by bus. On the way, I saw such beautiful natural scenery from the bus window, on a sunny and cloudy morning. I saw rice fields and high mountains. At that time all of my friends were sleeping on the bus. I was confused with my friends because instead of seeing this beautiful view, They were sleeping instead. I was so fascinated by the beauty of nature at that time. If there’s a chance, I wanted to try living here for a few days.

This photo was taken when I gave a short speech at the end of the summit event..

The second interesting thing happened during the last part of the first day of the Summit. That is when I was chosen to represent all exchange students to make a short speech at the closing of the first day of the Summit. This is an event that I remember very well because it was the first time for me to give a speech in English and first time for me to give a speech at a big event attended by important people. Of course, there were a number of challenges that I faced, such as revising the text of my speech even though I was so busy and fighting my pessimism because at that time I had little experience in giving speeches, especially in English. Thankfully, everything went very smoothly. I also get lots of compliments from my friends.

Such are the interesting things going on in Niigata. I made a lot of new experiences. Eat new things, try new things, see new things, learn new things, know new things, and make new friends. From this experience I became a better person, I am more open-minded, and more confident about myself. Dareing myself to join this student exchange program may be the best choice in my life.

That is all from me. Thank You.



Bina Antarbudaya

The Indonesian Foundation for Intercultural Learning Official Partner of AFS Programs