Tomo Wong

Tomo Wong

3rd-year student, Bachelor of Arts in Japanese Language

He decided to study Japanese to explore that part of his culture, says Tomo Wong who is of both Chinese and Japanese descent.

“I applied for the Bachelor of Arts because I wanted to improve my Japanese language skills and connect more with my culture.”

He has had many highlights throughout his time at AUT.

“I enjoyed being part of the Japanese club at AUT, Ocha no Jikan, because it gave me a chance to set up events for others to enjoy. I also got involved with volunteer work our lecturer, Dr Junji Kawai, would promote. I appreciate being able to land a very good internship at a student agency thanks to the workplace experience that is part of the Bachelor of Arts.”

Life in Japan
He would highly recommend doing a student exchange as part of your university degree, Tomo says.

“In all my 23 years, I’ve never been as happy as I was in the one-year exchange programme. I went to Hirosaki University in Japan, and what I really enjoyed was that it was rural area and it was my first time living in a small town. Hirosaki is really rich in nature and every season has a very distinct personality. Another part I really liked about Hirosaki was that all the people I met there were very nice and friendly.”

For Tomo, his student exchange changed him.

“This is a once in a lifetime experience. Before I went on a student exchange I used to be introverted and I wasn’t very proactive. This all changed when I went on the one-year exchange programme. I learned responsibility when I became the senior exchange student in the second semester.

“Not only did I make Japanese friends but I also made many close friends from France and America. I also became very proactive by attending various events and getting multiple part-time job opportunities due to the large network of friends I made. I also learned how to be independent as it was my first time living in a different country than my family.”

Advice for other students
Expecting to graduate at the end of the year, Tomo has some great advice for other students.

“If you ever get in trouble with your assignments and can’t finish in time or struggle to answer specific questions, don’t hesitate to ask your lecturer. Most lecturers I know of are very nice and will always find a way to help you.”

The biggest challenge he faced was essay writing, Tomo admits.

“Even though English is my first language I sometimes struggle with academic English. The academic staff at AUT are very nice and every time I asked for help they would always do so. The lecturers at AUT really want you to do well, and I appreciate the effort they have put in for me.”