In today's day and age, you will find people from all corners of the globe in many different places. Globalization has been a key factor in the integration of different cultures and nationalities. This means that children often study in settings that are not in their own home country. Many children are studying abroad as international students. I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to study abroad for ten years. I would like to share my experiences as a Japanese guy in an international school.
Before I talk about my experiences, I'm going to give you a brief introduction about myself. My name is Akira Fukaya. I am 18 years old and currently attend Waseda University. I'm 3/4 Japanese and 1/4 Indian. I was born in Chennai, India then moved to Japan. I went to a normal public Japanese school till halfway through 3rd grade and then moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I attended the International School of Kuala Lumpur for eight years. After graduating middle school (amazing I know), I moved to New Delhi, India. Here I attended the American Embassy School of New Delhi for my four years of high school. This brings us to today.
I remember it as if it was just yesterday. It was such a weird yet interesting place. Malaysia was not like Japan at all. Moving to a foreign land was such an exciting event yet so scary and strange. I remember being scared and worried about my first day. This was my first time living abroad and to add to that, I could speak little to no English. Questions of doubt filled my mind as I went to my first day at an International School. What was I going to say? Will people like me? Will they bully me? In all honesty, I was quite scared of the new environment I was put into. With all that doubt and fear, I took my first step into the new school.
What came after is something I would have never suspected. When I arrived at school, it was break time, and everybody was playing on the playground. Because I was scared, I stood around and watched other kids play. I didn't know how to approach the other kids. Just when I started to feel lonely, I heard a voice from behind me. I turned around and saw an American looking boy. He asked, "Hi! Are you new? Do you want to play soccer with us?" I was so surprised. A kid who doesn't know me at all just asked me to come play football (yes I call it football) with him! Soon I was laughing, smiling and sweating just like everybody else. I felt so happy. I realized how warm and welcoming the International School kids are. Although I had my doubts and fears, this warm, welcoming posture of the students made my move great, and I was able to adapt to the new school easier. I believe that International Schools provide one of the most welcoming school environments possible.
I hope to continue my tale of the life of an international student in future posts!
Signing off, - Akira Fukaya