I have had an amazing time volunteering in Iizuka hospital in Japan! I worked as a helper/care worker on the wards and I also helped out in the library, with administration and in the pharmacy.
When I first came to Japan, I had never lived on my own and I hadn’t taken into consideration that I was going to have to cook, clean and learn to budget my money all by myself! Fortunately, my volunteer partner helped me learn to cook and gave me loads of advice on budgeting and stuff, which really helped. Some of our Japanese friends even taught us how to make some Japanese food!
Being in a small town like Iizuka, there aren’t many foreigners, but we made so many new friends and everyone was so friendly and patient with us. Quite a few of our friends couldn’t speak English, and our Japanese was limited to begin with, but we learnt quite a bit just by hanging out with our Japanese friends (I watched a lot of Japanese movies too), we always had such a great time together!
To begin with I wasn’t looking at going to Japan, I was more interested in Canada but I really wanted to do a medical placement so I decided to go to Japan, somewhere I never thought I’d visit. Japan is such a beautiful country, the history is fascinating, and the people are so kind!
Now I am planning on continuing my travels for at least another year – something I never thought I would ever have the confidence to do!
I have grown and changed so much as a person, I feel more confident, happier and free! Before coming here I was not ready to go to university, but I am now and plan to go after I finish travelling. I know that my experience and all I have learnt in Japan will help me in the future!
Submitted by: Kerri