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Report on my stay in Japan ISEP ~From Rosemond~

26 September 2023 ~ 29 February 2024

Rosemond BOAKYE-TETTEH our former exchange student from University of Ghana, who studied in Japan from September 2023 to February 2024 wrote an essay of her stay in Japan.(Reprint article from Iafp) Please read it.

Report on my stay in Japan ISEP

Boakye-Tetteh Rosemond is my name. I studied and stayed at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies [TUFS], Japan as an exchange student under ISEP- [International Student Exchange Program] during Fall semester from 23rd September 2023 to February 28th, 2024. From the University of Ghana [Legon, Accra].

My experience as a foreign exchange student in Japan was an enriching journey that expanded my horizons, challenged my perspectives, and fostered deep connections with a vibrant culture. Over the course of my studies and stay, I had the privilege of immersing myself in the Japanese way of life, navigating through its bustling cities, embracing its traditions, and forming lasting friendships.
This report aims to provide an in-depth analysis of my experiences living in Japan, with a focus on memorable events, personal growth, and problems encountered. Additionally, it highlights my academic pursuits during my time as a foreign exchange student at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies [TUFS].


Two days after my arrival in Japan, I took this photo. You'll be astounded at the backstory of this image. I made the decision to go shopping and explore Tokyo as soon as I arrived. A woman I encountered in Fuchu -Miyachi begged me to let her outfit me in a traditional Japanese kimono so she could take pictures of me for her shop's advertisement as there isn't an African person wearing a kimono there. I was little apprehensive at first because I was surprised by this. I then said, "Let's do it." My heart melted at the woman's joy and happiness that my consent offered her.

My life in Japan may be divided into two parts. For the major part as a student, my time in Japan provided me with invaluable opportunities for academic growth and cross-cultural exchange. As part of my program some of the courses included Japanese language, International Protection of Refugees [IPR], Aging and Public Policies in Contemporary Japan Society, Japanese Intellectual History among Middle Eastern Culture, American Racism through literature. During the weekends and on vacations, I engaged in a range of activities. Here is a photo of me doing a presentation on the popular traditional meal fufu from Ghana during a Japanese language class.


Gaining proficiency in Japanese as a foreign language allowed me to get access to an unparalleled cultural universe and facilitated my learning of other East Asian languages, including the fundamentals of Chinese and Vietnamese. Because of its quirks, the Japanese language is full of harmony, vigor, and respect and is also very easy to grasp.
Since I found learning the language to be a little difficult during my time there, learning Japanese required additional study and effort. Hopefully, I will visit Japan specifically to study the language.


I took this photo in my aging and public policies in modern Japanese culture lecture after a presentation on dementia. I appreciated Dr. Yan Zi's lectures. She was good at coordinating with us students and provided us all the chance to participate to the policies our country has for the elderly. She also encouraged government and private donations to address the aging population. Her warm demeanor made me want to attend her classes every time. I happened to be the first student from Africa, she has taught. I'll always be reminded of these.

My desire to work with the UNHCR was sparked by my lectures on the international protection of refugees, as I had previously had limited understanding and unfavorable prejudices about them. I completed a research assignment on the education of refugee children, using South Sudan as my case study, as required by the course. My interest in South Sudan has increased as a result of studying International Protection of Refugees. I had no idea how asylum seekers are decided in Japan and other countries, or even what constitutes a refugee under the 1951 Geneva Convention. My perspective has been expanded and my curiosity piqued by this course, and I am eager to pursue internships with refugee organizations in the future.
On the cultural side of my studies, I wrote a research work on the role of the thinkers of Bakumatsu in Japan's modernization during the intellectual period history 1853-1868. I came across numerous powerful Socrates, Platos, and Aristotle's from Japan. Given that these intellectuals are responsible for Japan's advancements and enduring cultural legacy. Japanese culture is unique.

◾️Academic Experience

Attending classes alongside Japanese students and other international students not only enhanced my language skills but also broadened my understanding of different educational systems and teaching methodologies. Collaborative projects and discussions allowed me to gain fresh perspectives on global issues and develop lifelong friendships with classmates from diverse backgrounds.
Let's talk some fun memories. I used to be the indoor type until I got to Tokyo. From the moment I set foot in Japan, I was captivated by the richness of its culture. Whether it was participating in traditional tea ceremonies, which was somewhat regular gathering for my dormitory that is international residence dorm one, exploring historic temples and shrines, where I journeyed Kamakura Temple, the cultural history of the temple or indulging in the culinary delights of sushi and ramen, every experience was a window into the heart of Japan. I was particularly struck by the meticulous attention to detail evident in every aspect of daily life, from the graceful movements of a kimono-clad geisha to the intricately manicured gardens of Kyoto.
I went to Vietnam for winter vacation and was greeted with a whole new and diverse culture, cuisine, and atmosphere. I also attended an English camp in Iwai and had a great time; I wish I could post pictures here, but I'm not allowed to.
Below are few pictures I can share.



We made the decision to travel to Odaiba, home of a replica of the US statue of Liberty is located, in honor of a friend's birthday. It's a pleasant location to go.


This picture was taken at Vinh Yen- Khai Quang, a historic site.


This was a visit to Kamakura temple. The rich history of the great Budda. I love Japanese culture.


A friend like no other.

◾️Challenges and Adaptation

While my experience in Japan was overwhelmingly positive, it was not without its challenges. Adapting to a new language, customs, and social norms required patience and perseverance. At times, I felt overwhelmed by the cultural differences and the pressure to assimilate. However, with the support from Student Exchange Division, lecturers, and fellow exchange students, I gradually found my footing and embraced the journey of self-discover.

◾️Personal Growth

Living abroad as a foreign exchange student pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to embrace uncertainty. Through moments of cultural exchange, language barriers, and exploration, I gained a deeper appreciation for diversity and the interconnectedness of our world.
I emerged from my time in Japan with a newfound sense of resilience, empathy, and open-mindedness that continues to shape my perspective on life.


My experience as a foreign exchange student in Japan was a transformative chapter in my life, filled with unforgettable memories, meaningful connections, and invaluable lessons. Immersed in the beauty of Japan's culture and the warmth of its people, I grew not only as a student but as a global citizen. As I bid farewell to Japan, I carry with me a profound gratitude for the experiences that have shaped me and a deep longing to return to the Land of the Rising Sun someday. Arigatou gozaimasu, Japan, for welcoming me with open arms and leaving an indelible mark on my heart. A big thank you to my Dr. Kwame Adum-Kyeremeh, Head of History Department [University of Ghana], Madam Rosemary Tagoe Coordinator Study Abroad Office;[University of Ghana], Dr.Chihiro and MsYuko from IAfP, Student Exchange Division a big thank you all for your assistance, Toyota Ghana for their sponsorship, JASSO and the administration lastly to all my friends, I am forever indebted.