International Studies student wins Aus Japan Society prize
James Fenton, a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology / Bachelor of Arts in International Studies student, was recently awarded the Australia-Japan Society of NSW prize for Japanese Studies.
[Translated from Japanese]
I am sorry that I am unable to be present today at the award ceremony to receive this award as I am currently completing an internship in Tokyo. With the support of the New Colombo Plan, from last April until February this year, I studied at Yokohama National University. Following that I am completing an internship until the end of June.
While living in Japan, through cultural interaction with Japanese people, exchange students and the community, I have improved my skills and become an international citizen. At Yokohama National University I had many opportunities to have Japanese cultural experience. For example I learned laido, went to watch Kabuki and went on a camp with Japanese students. Of course, in classes I also learned a lot through extra-curricular activities and made the most of enjoyable student life. From these experience not only was I able to better understand Japanese culture, I was also able to reflect on Australian culture from a new perspective. By reflecting on my experience of both countries, I believe I was able to grow as a person.
At the moment, I am completing an internship as an operations assistant at the Australian and NZ Chamber of Commerce in Japan. I am responding to queries, attending meetings, and observing business relations between Australia and Japan. I have only recently started this internship but I know it will be a very valuable experience. I am looking forward to putting in a lot of effort and learning a lot during this internship.
I have an interest in railway systems and I think Japan's railway systems are incredibly efficient. So when I was invited to Japan Rail Central's Nagoya museum as a NCP Scholar I was very happy. A JR employee accompanied me on the bullet train to Nagoya and explained many thing to me on the way. I was most interested in our discussion on the Chuo Bullet Train which is being built between Shinagawa and Osaka. If there were to be a disaster that impacted the Tokaido Bullet train connecting Tokyo and Osaka it would likely become difficult. Therefore, to protect Japan's economy in times of disaster, it is important to build a secondary bullet train line in preparation. Starting with the quality of the service, I think Sydney's railway system has many points to improve. So as part of my future career and connecting Japan and Australia, I'd like to think more about this. This experience was one highlight of my time in Japan.
For their strong support I am very thankful for the Japanese Language and International Studies department staff at UTS. I feel very honoured to have received this award. I plan to continue my strong relationship with Japan for as long as I live. When I return to Australia, I look forward to participating in the Australia Japan Society of NSW. The Japan-Australia relationship is already wonderful and strong but I will be thinking about how I can help make the relationship even stronger. Also, to be honest there are still many Japanese words I don't know so going forward I want to continue studying Japanese as well as I can. Thank you very much!
The Australia-Japan Society of NSW prize for Japanese Studies is awarded to a high achieving university student who has displayed impressive academic results and all-round contribution. James received the prize for his commitment to Australian-Japanese relations and various activities including living, studying and interning in Japan as well as volunteering with multicultural organisations.
As James is currently in Japan, he was unable to accept the prize in person. Instead, James prepared a video of his speech, which was screened at the ceremony (see video). Many attendees were impressed by James' Japanese language skills and passed on their compliments to accomplished School of International Studies lecturer, Yasushi Hirai.
As part of his International Studies degree, James completed his In-Country Study year abroad at Yokohama National University in 2018. He then received a competitive New Colombo Plan (NCP) scholarship, which involves undertaking a semester-long study program and internship. James is currently undertaking his internship at the Australia and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan. James says, "I am responding to queries, attending meetings and observing business relations between Australia and Japan. I have only recently started this internship but I know it will be a very valuable experience."
International Studies students study one of six languages; Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, German or Italian and spend twelve months at a host university in one of 14 countries. The program aims to build strong language and culture skills, intercultural competencies and international awareness alongside the professional skills of their core degree. Many graduates go on to work overseas or for multinational organisations.
For their strong support, I am very thankful for the Japanese language and International Studies department staff at UTS. I feel very honoured to have received this award and plan to continue my strong relationship with Japan for as long as I live.
BScIT/Bachelor of Arts in International Studies student
Recipient of the Australia-Japan Society of NSW prize for Japanese Studies
Find out more about the Bachelor of Arts in International Studies or read James' monthly blogs from his In-Country Study in Japan.