The Way I Chose To Be

Bina Antarbudaya
3 min readDec 23, 2022

Jalma Ismena Putri Darmawan — INA AKP to Japan YP 22/23

Would you believe that you were born for something big on another side in this world? Yes, it’s been a couple months since I decided to leave my country, family, and everything behind to Japan. Taking off my one year is a big deal (of course), but I promise to myself that I would make a greatest moment and never regret it in my entire life.こんにちはみんなさん! (Konnichiwa everyone) I’m Mena, an exchange student of Asia Kakehashi Project YP 22/23 from Indonesia, here is my story.

got honored into newspaper by city mayor

I knew that summer was coming when the last rain dropped when I first arrived in Yamaguchi-ken. What a great time to start this journey because it’s already summer vacation. The shiny sun and the hot weather are still the same as Indonesia’s summer, but my new Yukata, lemonade soda, and firework festival made it cooler.

me at omatsuri festival

This journey is not only about myself, there are a lot of people who are also included in this story. Living as a dormitory student and making a great relation with native people here, ain’t no way to escape from the language barrier. Having 6 other exchange students from different countries as my friends, and of course with a different habit to each other. Got a new family every month, exactly that means regenerating my manner too. It was just a struggle of being an exchanger, the roller coaster of this couple months ain’t no joke. I’m about to pass out when I miss all the spicy food from Indonesia, but I would tell you I can pass this challenge (also lil bit bursting my tears).

‘May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears.’ -Nelson Mandela. Can’t lie, there’s a concern beside the smile along this journey. All your expectations and big responsibility made a new concern day by day. That concern should be growing you up, not a fear that you try avoiding from it.

This journey made me realize that my destiny depends on the way I chose to be. So I chose to be brave and ride this roller coaster for the next 8 months. Then I hope my final destination will be memorable because I already fulfilled my hopes and took a risk.

me with other exchanger friends

See you at my next story!

またね! (Matane)



Bina Antarbudaya

The Indonesian Foundation for Intercultural Learning Official Partner of AFS Programs