Donation Report


(APU Student/France)

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▼ About the project

My name is Salvary Pablo. I am 19 years old and a second-year student at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Beppu, Oita. I come from a small city in France named Nancy and have always dreamed to study and live in Japan. I love hiking, playing volleyball, reading manga and I recently enjoy playing the guitar. It has been one year since I entered, a year full of changes, encounters, and new experiences.

I remember the first two months spent in Beppu were overwhelming with a mountain of procedures and a lot of university-related things that I needed to get used to. I think not being able to read in most parts of life because of a language barrier (here, Japanese) has been the most challenging to me, and might still be. I like to understand the entirety of the papers I sign for example, but it was complicated and nearly impossible to understand anything, as I did not even have any senior at the time. I have spent my first semester exploring Beppu and its surroundings, hiking everywhere I could. I also focused on communicating in English in daily life, which I was not used to, and learning about other foreign cultures. Even though APU Japanese language classes are fast-paced, I have been able to keep up and acquire some basic Japanese needed for “survival”. In parallel, I joined the volley-ball circle from the very start of my APU journey, forming some solid relationships there and relieving the excess energy and stress in a sport very familiar to me. As hard as moving to Japan might have been, I must say that it would have been impossible without the help of APU. I have felt really lucky to be able to get support anytime I had troubles with administrative procedures, and for this I really am grateful.

My second semester was much different than the first one. Being able to choose for myself what classes I would be taking was something new to me, as in my country the university decides for the students. I enjoy being able to organize my timetable and taking classes that I have an interest in or with a professor I appreciate. And actually, I would say my first “encounter” with Japan was my second semester. From the beginning of this semester I started to learn Japanese thoroughly and to stabilize my GPA. I enjoyed taking classes that were more adapted to my learning preferences. The most important thing to me is that I found a part-time job that I loved. I work in a small, family-owned yakiniku near Beppu station and the owner and the other part-timers have practically become my Japanese family. We have been on a holiday trip all together and lately celebrated Christmas with the whole staff. In addition to APU’s Japanese language classes, this was an unprecedented opportunity for me to practice my spoken Japanese which got 4 times better in 2 months according to my boss. The issue I faced during this first year was how to stay connected with my home country as it is far from Japan. I tried to maintain the link by going back several times, but am still considering how to find a proper solution to this problem.

From now on, I am planning to establish a drama circle in APU as drama is dear to me; I kept studying and practicing British drama plays back in high school. If I can do this, I would like to organize a drama play in the Millennium Hall of APU. I would also like to enter the music circle shortly as I want to play music in a band. Regarding the academic field, I am aiming to maintain my GPA above 3.5, take CSM major classes and start to write a thesis during my third year. I also want to apply for a domestic exchange with the Ritsumeikan Kyoto University. At the end of my 4th semester, I am planning to apply for an internship in Japan to get more experience in a company. I am still considering whether to work first and then go to graduate school or if I should go directly.

Regarding my dream for the future, I have several. I want to climb Everest and I am preparing by developing my alpinism techniques whenever I go back to France. I also want to meet the author of One Piece in person as I think the messages depicted in his masterpiece are representative of modern issues in our societies. Finally, I want to be a manga book publisher and would like to design a publishing house that would respect sustainable development.

Dear donors, I would like to thank you a lot for your support that helped me to achieve my dream that was living in Japan. I am truly grateful that you have given me the opportunity of a smoother integration into Japan and APU. I will continue to aim for higher summits until I meet my goals. Please, continue to support youth, as I am convinced we will be the ones leading the future, but we need the support of our seniors.

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