Alumni Spotlight: Madlen Tautz

Why did you choose this program?

I wanted to break out of my comfort zone and daily life. Going abroad is a perfect opportunity for that goal. Additionally, I have always been keen to get to know the Japanese culture in depth.

The organization combined my personal interest in the Japanese culture and my career goal in the consultation department.

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

They had weekly activities. There were always international students and/or local interns joining. So I had the possibility to make friends from all over the world.

I also got a Welcome Package from my program with a lot of important information about Japan, the culture, sightseeing recommendations and more.

I had to organize overseas health insurance, my flight tickets and transport to the airport. Of course, there where some more bullet points I had to organize before going abroad.

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

Get yourself a business card before coming to Japan. You may attend business meetings and then you don’t want to awkwardly explain why you don’t have one.

Take the opportunity to build up an international network. Experience a different culture and try to see as much as possible.

But most importantly: Stay as long as you can! Time flies by so quickly.

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

  • 07:00 am - Turn the alarm off. Get ready for my work day. Breakfast.
  • 08:00 am - Take the bus to work.
  • 08:45 am - Research for possible blog articles. Writing. Proofreading.
  • 11:45 am - Conduct city tours. Lunch with colleagues, students, other interns, locals.
  • Creating Instagram content.
  • 01:30 pm - Marketing tasks (Instagram, Blog, Facebook, Pinterest). Organizing next tours or cultural activities.
  • 07:30 pm - Go to karaoke or a language exchange (Japanese & English only!).
  • 09:00 pm - Take the bus back home.
  • 10:00 pm - Learn some Japanese vocabularies or read a book.
  • 11:00 pm - Set an alarm for the next day. Sleep.

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

There was not really a "fear" I faced while travelling abroad. I worried a bit over the fact of travelling alone in another continent. I worried about the safety of travelling alone and about the duration it would take me to find a connection to the people overseas.

It helped that I informed myself about the country beforehand. That's how I knew, what to avoid while travelling alone or while meeting Japanese people.

My worries turned out to be groundless, as Japan is one of the safest countries. Additionally, the people I got to know where very open and happy to invite me to different activities.