Why did you choose this program?
Being interested in Japan, I always wanted to do an internship in the country to gain work experience in Japan's unique work culture. As Japan is part of my studies at university, the internship also helped me get important credit points for my degree.
I had already been to Fukuoka before and loved my time there, so from the start, it was clear to me that I wanted to do my internship there. I opted to choose an internship provider because on my own it was almost impossible to find internship offers outside of Tokyo and also because I was not sure if I would be able to organize everything by myself. I was recommended Meiji Internships by friends who had already experienced their outstanding service and they did an excellent job finding the perfect internship for me in Fukuoka.
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
During the application process, Meiji Internships helped me by setting up the connection to my host company and assisted me with all the necessary paperwork. Together with my advisors at university, the staff at Meiji Internships also were great in delivering all the necessary documents on time that I needed to get a scholarship from my university.
Before my arrival in Japan, I was sent a welcome package with all the important information one could need, to make my arrival and my first few weeks getting used to my new surroundings as smooth as possible. Prior to my internship, I was also provided with an online business workshop to prepare me for my new workplace.
In the end, the only thing I really had to organize was booking the flight to Japan.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
One piece of advice that I would give other people who want to do an internship would be that it is important to be accepting of the change. You will find yourself in a completely different situation than you were in before. This can prove to be quite the challenge, but most of all it offers you a lot of great opportunities and experiences. That's why it is important to fully embrace it to make the most out of your stay.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
The working hours tend to be different based on the host company. In my case, I had a relatively long workday, which is pretty standard in Japan. It took some time to get used to the long hours, but I enjoyed the time working together with my coworkers.
Meiji Internships also offered a lot of social and cultural activities that I was able to take part in and had a great time in doing so.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
Not having experienced living on my own yet, I was unsure if I would be able to handle it and how well I would fare. Ultimately, my approach was to take on the challenges I was facing one day at a time, getting more and more confident with each passing day. Noticing that you are probably more grown-up than you yourself think you are and that you can do just fine by yourself was a great feeling and a confidence booster.