My name is Fleurtje and I’m a 20 years-old Dutchy! I live in the very south of the Netherlands, but during the week I study in a beautiful small city called Leiden. At the moment I am a second year Japanstudies student, with a special interest in sociology and a love for dancing, gaming and writing.
Before World Campus – Japan, the furthest I had ever been from home was Greece (roughly 3000km) and only for a week without my parents. So why World Campus – Japan? Since I was a little girl I was crazy about geisha, samurai and ancient temples. During my early teen years, this love for Japan extended into popculture and eventually I decided that I wanted to know more about the language, history and culture.
My study in Leiden covers most areas quite well, but I had never experienced the culture so in-depth as with World Campus – Japan! I joined last year’s third session and had such a blast that I wanted to experience even more! Besides the culture-dipping, one of the things I love most about World Campus – Japan is the people you meet and the friends you make. Even now, almost a year later, I still have contact with some of my host families and many of the participants (and counselors!) from last year and we try to meet up in one of the countries every now and then just for fun.
This year around, I hope to meet more great people. Let’s wreck our comfort bubbles this summer and have fun while we learn something about others and ourselves. I can’t wait to meet you all!
Fleurtje Meijer (the Netherlands)
My name is Daniel van Delft. I’m 24 years old and a Master student of Japanstudies at Leiden University in the Netherlands.
This summer I will be one of your counselors during the World Campus – Japan Program. I started studying Japan because my math grades weren’t good enough to become a physicist, but ever since I came to Japan with the World Campus – Japan Program my fascination for the country just kept growing. I lived in Japan for 2 years during my studies and I can really recommend everyone to visit it. The food is delicious, the people are great and I think the traditional architecture and landscaping is among the most beautiful in the world.
The World Campus –Japan Program can bring you in contact with all of these things and even more. You will be traveling with people who come from all over the world and because you share many new experiences together, you will forge amazing friendships. The host families that you will be staying at will show you a side of the country that you will never get to see as a normal tourist, or even as a Japanstudies student! I could go on for hours about how great the program has been for me, but it’s more fun to experience it for yourself. I hope to see you in Japan this summer and as a staff member I hope I (and all the other staff) can provide you with an unforgettable time!
Daniel van Delft (The Netherlands)
I am Espen, one of the counselors for this year’s World Campus – Japan program. I am from Norway, but am currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark doing a PhD in mathematics.
Languages has always been an interest of mine, and I became interested in Japanese language and culture during my second year of high school – 7 years ago, and I have been learning Japanese as a hobby since. I also enjoy reading and playing board games like chess and go.
This is my fourth time travelling with World Campus – Japan and my third time working as a counselor. My time with World Campus – Japan has earned me many good experiences and dear relationships. I hope that if you take the leap and go after the opportunities presented to you, you will be rewarded with lifelong connections and lasting memories. We counselors are there to provide a safe environment for you to explore Japan to its fullest, form international relationships and perhaps discover sides of yourself you may not have been aware of.
I’m looking forward to meeting you in Japan!
Espen Auseth Nielsen (Norway)
My name is Jørgen Steen, I am 26 years old and from Norway. I live in Trondheim where I study electrical engineering, but I also have a bachelor degree in social anthropology. I have traveled a lot for my age, so I am quite used to meeting other cultures and I appreciate our differences. This might be the reason I chose to study social anthropology in the first place. I spent 5 months of my degree in India and really enjoyed living abroad. I enjoyed it so much that when I had decided I was going to Japan I knew I had to stay there for at least a month!
My fascination with Japan started with them having similar technology as the west, but at the same time a different culture to place it in and how this combination has unfolded in a very unique way. When I started at my university I saw that I could take a Japanese culture and language class. Naturally I jumped at the chance. The course made me even more interested in Japan, so much so that I felt I had to go there. Luckily one of my classmates told me about a program called World Campus – Japan, and how much he had enjoyed it. His passion for the program made me apply.
I joined the second session, and never regretted this decision. It was more enjoyable than I had imagined. My biggest surprise was the host families. I was a bit nervous about interacting with them, but it went really well. They were all very welcoming and nice, and we still keep in touch! Living with them also improved my Japanese. Speaking and listening to them on a daily basis helped me get a better feel for the rhythm of the language.
Traveling has not been the same after World Campus – Japan. It made me realize how much a little local information improves a trip. So now I prefer traveling to places I know someone. Without the local knowledge I feel like I am missing out.
I hope you will join us for this year’s session of World Campus – Japan Program. See you there!
Jørgen Steen (Norway)