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June 29, 2016

ABE Initiative: Voice from the 2nd batch, Mr. Besong

PhotoDinner at the Ambassador's residence 2 weeks before I travelled.

I am Besong John Ebot, studying at Yokohama National University's Graduate School of Engineering, Department of Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Japan has always been a dream destination, as I always dreamed of studying engineering there. Having this unique opportunity to be selected as one of the ABE-Initiative program participant from Cameroon, was a great honored offered to me.

I started experiencing the hospitality of the Japanese people with a sendoff ceremony organized by H.E Kunio the Japanese Ambassador to Cameroon, who invited us (the selected Cameroonian participants) for a dinner before our departure for Japan.

Arriving Japan was just fabulous. JICA Tokyo had organized everything for us starting from our pick up at the Airport. ABE program started with a two weeks Joint-program at JICA International Center, Tokyo where lectures were given on the following;

  • objectives of the program, ABE – Initiative)
  • expectations of the program,
  • guidelines they are to follow during their stay in Japan,
  • Basic Japanese Business Ethics;
  • Basics skills for life in Japan and some
  • Basic Japanese language skills.

The Joint-program ends with companies visit and a closing ceremony, where the participants meet with their respective embassies, some top Japanese government officials and representatives of Japanese companies interested in doing business in Africa.

PhotoWith the Cameroon Ambassador to Japan at the closing ceremony of joint-program.

PhotoVisit to Chiyoda, one of Japan's biggest Chemical industries

PhotoCourtesy call to the Mayor of the City of Yokohama, L-R, JICA director Yokohama, participant from Nigeria, Tanzania, Deputy Mayor, Kenya, Egypt, Cameroon, Kenya and Tanzania

I began school, during the month of October as research student. During this period we are required to participate in a research laboratory and prepare for the entrance exams into Graduate School of Engineering. I also registered for Japanese classes and took the Entrance Exams during the month of February.

PhotoAt the University Campus during the period I was research student.

PhotoWelcome Party at the Yokohama National University (YNU), with the President of YNU

Japanese Culture and Advices

The Japanese culture is a wonderful one. It's really great to see how such an advanced nation is able to preserve its culture. I believe that, fully enjoying the Japanese culture will require you to be open-minded and curious. This begins with the language and your willingness to undertake activities and experiences.

There is multiple support program provided by institutions and universities to help foreigners integrate. One interesting one is a homestay program whereby, you can live with a Japanese family for some time. This gives you the opportunity to interact and spend time with a Japanese family to truly understand their culture and improve your speaking ability.

PhotoWith my homestay family.

PhotoMe and my Homestay family at a Japanese restaurant


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