Alumni Spotlight: Patrick Medved

Why did you choose this program?

I chose the abroad internship program because I want to experience all aspects of "living" in another culture, since going to work makes a part of living. In addition, I am learning about valuable habits and manners in a business context. After graduating I wanted to challenge myself on my self-sufficiency as well as gain life long memories with new friends and stories to share with my friends and family at home.

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

My program provider assisted me with the search of an accommodation, a placement in a share house, and supported me on my arrival in Japan and my first few days. For example with an airport pickup and small things like buying a Sim card for mobile data. The only thing I had to organize from there on was my own living in Fukuoka.

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

I wish i would have been more familiar with the driving laws of Japan and the process of obtaining/translating a driver's license, since I would have loved to drive with the motorbike along the coast of Fukuoka. For my friends I advice on better research of climate and weather as nothing seems as it looks like and I brought no short pants with me as I thought it would not be necessary.

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

My average day starts in the morning at 7am with a small breakfast, and afterward my work in my internship from 9am to 7pm. I work in the marketing department and get a variety of tasks, so I know how my day looks like when I arrive at work and that provides me with diversification. The fun starts in the evening after work when I roam the city with my friends or on my own and go after my hobbies, like city and street photography. Week by week I plan spots to visit and goals to achieve.

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

My biggest fear of going into my abroad experience was the unabikity of improvement, the issue of not obtaining new skills and knowledge or not developing myself. I tried to overcome it by setting clear goals and aims during my time abroad with topics to discuss and learn - topics regarding new hobbies like photography or learning about philosophy, by discussing principles of stoicism, Buddhism and Confucianism. I searched for orientation and a direction only to realize that this fear is nothing significant. The choice to go abroad itself is development and the change of the environment causes self development. So basically there was nothing to fear in the beginning.

Is there anything you would have done differently, if you could do it again?

I could have decided to not go in a share house but live on my own. The best memories I have are connected to the people I got to know in the share house, so there is nothing I would change. I can only advise to better research laws and processes of translating the drivers license as it would have been nice to be able to drive with the motorbike along Japanese coasts.