AAI Study Camp Scholar Interview: Joan
1. Tell us about yourself. What are your future ambitions?
I believe fulfillment in life is key to happiness, and I try to follow this idea by volunteering, reading books, taking walks, and traveling. In addition to this, I enjoy meeting new people, sharing ideas, and learning new things.
Dr. Alex Coutinho, a well-known physician from Uganda, said, “If a goal is important, the detour doesn’t matter.” Ashinaga has helped me overcome the challenges I have encountered along the way. I am now more determined than ever to use my education to improve the future of geriatric care and raise awareness about tropical diseases in rural Kenya. I will devote my time and energy to studying to assist Kenya’s rural communities in receiving adequate care for the elderly and educate people on the severity of tropical diseases so they can seek medical assistance.
2. How was your experience at the Preparation Camp in Uganda?
Being in Uganda was a memorable and life-changing experience for me. At first, I was excited but nervous to start a new journey in a new country. During the preparation camp, I socialized with like-minded students from across Africa and made friends worth keeping! This interaction with a diverse group of people gave me a new perspective on life and introduced me to the breadth of diversity within the continent.
3. What are some important skills you learned during the camp?
“A goal without a plan is just a wish,” as once said by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. With my peers’ help, I could better define my future goals. I explored my curiosity through various activities both outside and inside the classroom. This helped me develop my academic and social skills and improve my Japanese through interactive classes. Overall, this learning journey was an eye-opening experience I am grateful to have pursued.
4. Due to the pandemic, students had to take classes online before traveling to Japan. How was your experience studying remotely?
Studying remotely was new and exciting yet challenging. I was a bit surprised but thrilled to be in charge of my own time. During the online Study Camp, I created a schedule that left time for leisure while attending academic, leadership, and mental health classes. Being home also gave me the chance to research the state and importance of geriatric care in rural Kenya, something I look forward to improving in the future. One challenge I faced at the beginning was maintaining concentration during online classes, but with time I quickly adapted and attended lessons fully engaged. Generally, the online study period helped me discipline my time management skills.
5. What and where will you study?
I will be studying in the Discovery Program for Global Learners at Okayama University in Japan, where I look forward to beginning my future career in biology and tropical diseases.
6. How do you feel about studying in Japan?
While moving to a new environment comes with benefits and challenges, I am eager to explore Japanese culture and meet new people! I am constantly studying Japanese and look forward to learning more every day. Overall, I feel excited knowing that I will be studying in Japan!