I learned about the perspective of the Japanese university students and my fellow ASEAN representatives in relation to ASEAN. I received a more in-depth perspective of the needs of countries from the perspectives of those who are actually from those countries--for example, issues tackling disaster-preparedness, waste or garbage management, boosting tourism, education systems, population issues, health issues, and much more. We often have our own pre-determined views of what other countries are like, and this program became more of an eye-opener of what we can learn about other countries under many different aspects and how we can further develop the relations of those countries.
What impressed me the most was the group presentations--the entire process from brainstorming, collaborating, delegating tasks, executing our ideas into power point presentation format--it surprised me how easy it was to work with a group of people coming from different countries. Despite slight language barriers, I was impressed with academic level of the members of the group, and how we were still able to pool our ideas together in order to form it into a cohesive presentation.
Aside from that, it was also good to hear different points of views on one topic, since we are working together with new people that come from other countries–people of different backgrounds, expertise, and experiences.
The things that I learned from this program helped me looked deeper into several aspects of the relationship between Japan and ASEAN because I was able to hear it from representatives of such countries as well. Examples of such aspects are health issues, disaster-preparedness, urban planning and transportation, education system, culture and tourism boosting, and the like. Learning about ASEAN and Japan in such an in-depth discussion method has helped me learn about the real needs of each country and possible methods that can help remedy such needs. It might not be quick solutions since these all tackle large scales, but it has helped us form ideas that can possibly be proposed in the future to related entities in order to respond to the raised issues under those different aspects.