Alumni Spotlight: Abraham Intriago


Abraham is a 17-year old young adult who aspires to travel the world and become an architect in the future. He is all about being part of the solution, and believes that exposure is key to understanding.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I was intrigued by Japanese culture and traditions. The program I chose was about animé and animation which I believed would further increase my interest in architecture because they both had to do with designing and sketching. The program also intrigued my interest in the Arts and made me more open to trying out new forms of drawing such as animé.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My program provided me with continuous support throughout the process of applying. They answered my questions, and cleared any confusions I had. Some things I had to organize myself were the qualifications and making sure I had everything I needed to apply. On my own, I did have to do my research, but they offered a helpful description of the program.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Get involved in the culture and in group activities. The more involved you are in the activities going in throughout the program in Japan, the more exposure you gain about the traditions and culture. This would further allow you to enjoy your Japan experience.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

As a participant of this program, an average week would always be packed with events and activities. There was never a day where I felt that there was nothing to do. The program and leaders both filled our schedules enough that we’d always be active. However, we did have some days where we’d have the opportunity to explore things of our own interests.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

As an introvert, my biggest fear was talking to others. However, I later found that getting involved and talking to others allowed me to gain the most memorable experience. Not only did I create new friendships that I’ll never forget, but I also got more exposed to the culture and traditions by making sure I participated in every event and tried all types of food. This changed my view on the issue because the issue I had was holding me back from having fun and fully experiencing Japan.

How much did you enjoy your Japan experience?

In general, the whole trip was beyond my expectations. I loved every part of it. The memories you make during your trip out of the country are memories you will never forget. I made three great friends, Koffi, Charles, and Diamond. Diamond and I both came from New York and were much excited to go to Japan, and we both were able to discuss the difference in transit between Japan and New York City.

Charles, Koffi, and I were the best friends in Japan and were basically the only guys on the trip. We loved eating traditional cakes, and we love eating out every chance we got. We loved trying out new food, and we made it our goal to eat something different every dinner.

The experience was so fun we were even willing to go beyond our given budget to try newer things in Japan. We’d even have cake night, which is when we’d go to our local Japanese bakery and try different cakes each night. We even went to Tokyo Dome because we wanted to experience as much as we can. We’d go to different arcades and even roller coasters. The whole experience was amazing and unforgettable!