Japan-bound Brunei students say ‘arigato’

James Kon

Two Bruneian students, Muhd Syauqi bin Haji Hasnul Fikri, 17, and Adham Darwishz bin Afiat, 19, left the country yesterday for Japan to further their studies under the Japanese government scholarship, MEXT.

Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam’s First Secretary, Public Relations and Culture Aoki Atsushi as well as researcher and advisor Watanabe Eiko were present at the Brunei International Airport to bid them farewell.

The two students will be studying in Japanese college of technology for four years.

Colleges of technology, also known as Kosen, are unique Japanese educational institutions, offering hands-on educational programme to develop engineers with high level expertise and uses the latest technology with a focus on lab and practical work combined with advanced theoretical knowledge. It is known to have played an important role in the development of Japan into an advanced industrial society.

Aoki said, “Kosen is a unique Japanese education system where students learn theories and carry out practical work so that they can contribute to the society.

Muhd Syauqi bin Haji Hasnul Fikri and Adham Darwishz bin Afiat with Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam’s First Secretary, Public Relations and Culture Aoki Atsushi as well as Researcher and Advisor Watanabe Eiko at the Brunei International Airport. PHOTO: JAMES KON

“Besides studying, we hope the Brunei students will experience the Japanese way of life and learn more about our culture. They can become ‘friendship bridge’ between Brunei and Japan.”

Aoki added that the students will attend a one-year Japanese language course.

Muhd Syauqi in an interview said, “I feel very happy and excited about the new experience. I was very surprised to obtain the scholarship because many other applicants also deserve the scholarship.”

On the reason of choosing Japan, he said, “I once admired a Japanese voice actor during my secondary school years, and my interest on Japan grew from then. I also want to step out of my comfort zone and decided to go to Japan.”

Muhd Syauqi also has some concerns about the COVID-19 situation in Japan, but vowed that he will take extra precautions such as wearing facemasks, practising social distancing and frequently washing hands.

Adham Darwishz echoed the same plan to protect themselves from the coronavirus, and said that he chose Japan due to his eagerness to learn more about Japanese culture.

Both recipients of the Japanese government scholarship expressed their gratitude to the Japanese government for the opportunity.