Sakura Science Plan is the main event that led me to my studies in Japan. During Sakura Science Plan, I was assigned under Prof. Saito (also my current professor), to conduct experiment regarding acoustic cavitation. At that moment, I realized that the reseach facilities and skill this laboratory has is far better than what I can achieve in my home country. Regardless, I was worried financially, so I have no plan for furthering my studies in Japan. However, one of the main purpose of that trip was to sign the memorandum of understanding between Taylor's and Shizuoka University. During the ceromony, the Asia Bridge Program (ABP) was introduced. This program is the colaboration of Shizuoka University with several local company, to bring in talents from outside of japan, especially from countries of South East Asia. I applied and was selected. I am grateful to my previous school and Sakura Science Plan for providing this turning point of my life.
Venturing to a new country alone is definitely something to worry about. It was tough in Japan, especially due to language barrier. As an ABP graduate student, our program is not fully focussed on language study. Our main responsibility is research and we must spend most of our time on it. Therefore, language barrier will be more obvious for ABP graduate students. However, I am in a considerably lucky situation. I belong in a laboratory with good professor who is fluent in English, and very supportive in research. With his help, I had and will be able to attend multiple conference including local and international. Other than research matter, he is also extremely helpful with my scholarship, internship and job application. With his help, I even obtained a scholarship better than the ABP, and the oppurtunity to conduct internship in Mitsubishi Chemical Engineering Cooperation. Basically, Japanese are naturally friendly and helpful, I can get help as long as I ask for it.
I have not seen the world yet, but Japan is by far the one I want to live in the most. You will be surprised with the friendliness, creative and efficiency they all possess. It might be tough at first, but this will definately be worth challenging for. My suggestion is to obtain Japanese proficiency before coming to Japan. You might not be as lucky as me. For those who are interested to live in Japan, with hardwork and a little luck, I am sure you will be able to fulfill your dream.