Alumni Spotlight: Takumi Asazuma

Takumi Asazuma is a 22 year old senior student studying tourism and cross-cultural communications at Kanagawa University in Yokohama, Japan. His first journey was studying business abroad for 8 months at Griffith University in Brisbane, and he soon moved to Sydney afterwards for a three month-long internship.

australia interns

What made this intern abroad experience unique and special?

Takumi: The best thing about interning abroad was working with people from all other nationalities. There were lots of people working from Asia, Europe, the United States, and smaller countries. The environment was very new to me because it didn't exist in Japan. Speaking English in this working environment gave me the confidence that my English got much better.

Once, I got a call in the reservation office, and the customer asked me where I was from. I said, "I am from Japan" and he was very surprised and said "I thought you were from Australia!" That was the best prize I've ever gotten in Australia. It was experiences like this that made my internship special

Do you think this program changed you as a person?

Takumi: I can absolutely say yes! I couldn't have achieved my goals without this program. My biggest goal was to study business in English instead of my native language, and to be able to work in other countries with English. This program changed me into a more aggressive and active person when learning something new. It really helped me when I was job-hunting in Japan. There are no regrets.

Tell us about any interesting cultural tidbits that you noticed about your country:

australia beach

Takumi: Interning in Australia made me realize that Japanese people work too much. In Australia, the majority of businessmen leave the office at 5 pm to go home or to drink with coworkers near the office. On Fridays, they started drinking in the office at 3 pm in celebration of the weekends. This surprised me the most because it never happens in Japan.

Japanese people usually work until 6 or 7 pm and then go straight home to relax. They love staying home. The difference in ways of thinking about working between Australia and Japan are very connected to the development as a country. Thanks to people working very hard, a lot of creative products are created, infrastructure is getting useful, and our living environment is unbelievably good.

What was the best place you visited?

Takumi: The best place I visited was Melbourne. It had cool old buildings and streets, much like those in Britain. My two favorite places were the coffee stands on the street (all the coffee I tried was fantastic) and the second place was this great ocean road that was far away from the center of Melbourne. It took 4-5 hours by bus from the city, but the scenery is famous and it is definitely worth visiting at least once in your lifetime. The view was fabulous and beyond anything I've ever expected. I was really touched by the ocean view.