Ever since my first Japanese lesson at the age of 11 I have dreamt of visiting Japan and experiencing as much as I could. As a mother of three with limited funds and studying full time, I thought my dream would be on hold for years. The opportunity arose to apply for a partially funded trip with Sonoda Women's University and HUMAP. So, I applied, thinking that whatever decision was made would be the right one for me. I was selected along with 11 other incredible people whom I admire both professionally and personally. We shared such incredible experiences that we will never forget. I have been incredibly humbled by such an unforgettable opportunity.
I started this journey with 11 people that I had met and respected, who I now consider family. Being together for 18 days would be hard on many groups of people but having such an eclectic mix of personalities worked in our favour. I learnt as much from the people within the programme as the programme itself and know we have made a connection. The experiences we shared; the Shinto shrine, our trip to Hiroshima, the various schools and experiences within them, to mention a few, will forever be in our minds as incredible opportunities to grow and develop. I learnt a lot about myself also, that I am strong and determined, and I know that I will be a better teacher because of this experience and I hope that it is offered to third-year students long into the future.