Unforgettable Journeys

Bina Antarbudaya
4 min readFeb 21, 2024


Timothea Euangelista Gunawan — INA AKP to Japan YP 22/23

Hello everyone, nice to see you again. It’s been almost 6 months since I sent out my first newsletter. These 6 months have been a fantastic 6 months and I can’t wait to tell you about them!

At the beginning of February 2023, I had the opportunity to present Indonesian school life at the Student Assembly of my host school Kwansei Gakuin Highschool 関西学院高等部. While preparing for this presentation, I thought what theme would be interesting for me to present? Then I asked my classmates for their opinion, and they said “I think they will be interested in school life in Indonesia”. So I started preparing for presentations and collected lots of photos of myself while studying in Indonesia.

I also explained the differences in uniforms in Japan and in Indonesia. “In Japan there are summer and winter clothes, in Indonesia there are none. Because we don’t have four seasons and the temperature of the year doesn’t vary much. But in a week we will be wearing 3 different uniforms!,” I explained.

They were surprised and listened to my explanation and the photos that were displayed. Not a few people asked me their confusion, “Is there someone who remembers the wrong day and wears the wrong clothes? How about them?”. I laughed and explained “Of course there must be, so do I. But because my house is very close to school, when I went to school and realized I was wearing the wrong clothes when I saw my friends at the school door. I will rush home and change it. For my friends whose houses are far away and there is no time to change their clothes, that is also not a problem because everyone will understand that too.” It was an interesting experience to see my Japanese friends here amazed by the many uniforms at my school in Indonesia.

(presenting my Indonesia School Life at my hostschool Kwansei Gakuin Highschool)

Not only presenting, I also had the opportunity to perform the Gending Sriwijaya traditional dance by wearing all the attributes of the clothes. Even though the clothes were quite big and heavy, and took up a lot of space in my suitcase when I left for Japan, it all paid off when I heard my friends’ admiration when they saw me wearing this Palembang traditional dress. I am also very grateful for having a skilled host mom. Before the performance I also struggled whether I could use all the clothes myself, but the host mom swiftly helped me put on the clothes. Not only that, She came to school and recorded my performance.

(the process of wearing traditional clothes and with my host mom)

I was actually very nervous the first few days before the show. I thought about the dance choreography everyday, practiced reading the speech, and wondered if people would like Indonesian traditional clothes.

(dancing Gending Sriwijaya dance)

But then the moment when I came to the stage, everyone who saw me made amazing voices, listened carefully to my speech, and watched my performance attentively, so I didn’t feel nervous and enjoyed the stage that day.

(the audience)

After the student assembly was over, I also came to class and took pictures with my classmates. I was very happy when I saw that they were very interested in the traditional clothes that I wore, and the dance moves that I performed on stage.

(with my classmates 2G)

A few days after the performance, many people said that my speech was very good, my dance was very good, and my clothes were cool. I feel very happy and grateful to have the opportunity to share Indonesian culture with my Japanese friends at this school.

(the reaction of my friends when they see the details of the clothes)

It doesn’t just stop there, I also often introduce Indonesian culture in my daily life. During AFS orientation events and other activities, I often wear Indonesian traditional clothing, such as; batik clothes, kebaya clothes, etc. I also try to cook Indonesian food for my host family. My host mom is very good at cooking so she can learn Indonesian cuisine quickly. Nasi goreng (fried rice), mie goreng (fried noodles) and pisang goreng (fried bananas) are the Indonesian food that my host mom cooks the most. I also brought fried bananas to school once, my friends tasted them and said they were really good!

(with my LP after my last orientation with Hyogo Chapter, Japan)

It’s great to be able to introduce Indonesian cultures to friends and host families here. I believe that culture can make people understand each other better. This student exchange to Japan was a life-changing experience for me, and I really enjoyed it.

It’s hard to leave, but I believe we will meet again someday.

Japan, until we meet again.




Bina Antarbudaya

The Indonesian Foundation for Intercultural Learning Official Partner of AFS Programs