CSU student Anna Eggleton has picked up a new language and a renewed appreciation for wildlife during her eight-month study trip to Japan.
Anna studied with Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University at Beppu city on Kyushu, Japan as part of a New Colombo Plan scholarship provided by the Australian government last year.
“Learning Japanese was only one part of my experience. I also had to immerse myself in a completely new culture,” said Anna, who is now in her third year of an environmental science and management degree with CSU.
“I was also challenged academically. During my exchange, I developed an interest in environmental economics, recognising the key relationship between economics and the environment. This has encouraged me to think beyond my original interests in protecting Australia’s native species.
“I now strive to make others aware of this key relationship and present economic and environmental issues in this light. I believe nations can work together to help produce a healthier and happier environment for everyone.”
Anna was also impressed by the great respect and spiritual understanding the Japanese people have for their wildlife, which she compares to the ties Indigenous Australians have with their land.
“It has encouraged me to understand how these links could assist in protecting threatened native species. I found this incredibly uplifting,” she said.
During her trip, Anna studied with more than 5,000 students, allowing her to develop extensive academic, communication and social skills in a new culture and challenging environment.
“I made friends with not only Japanese students but also other students from around the world,” she said.
Anna, originally from the small NSW town of Tumbarumba, has returned this year to CSU in Albury-Wodonga to complete her degree, which she approaches with renewed enthusiasm.
“I want to make a difference in the world. The overseas study has given me new confidence in myself to be able to handle anything from organising my own travel and accommodation to speaking Japanese in public,” she said.
“I want to become part of the Asia-Pacific region. This experience has helped me start that journey.”