Ever since I entered university 3 years ago, I became interested in organising all kinds of different events, especially cultural ones. For me, having the chance to see other people be happy and enjoying themselves, and knowing that I was a part of making it happen, is the best feeling in the world. That is why I was thrilled when I came to Waseda as an exchange student and discovered the wonderful things that the ICC is doing for international and Japanese students.
I participated in a few ICC events since joining university, but it wasn’t until I attended the Serbian Festival that I realised I wanted to volunteer for an event too. When I first went to the office to propose having a Romanian Festival, I didn’t know what to expect and generally thought that the project would be impossible to bring to life. But, contrary to my expectations, I had the warmest welcome possible.
The ICC staff was beyond helpful; as soon as I entered the office I could feel the general relaxed and friendly atmosphere, which made me feel just like home. After discussing the plan for the event and contacting the Embassy of Romania in Tokyo, we were a bit anxious. But luckily, the Embassy was very supportive, and actively participated in the festival right from the start.
As a Romanian national, it warms my heart to know that I was able to share my culture with Japanese students, and I was very surprised to know that many people knew a lot of things about my country. Everyone was very excited to find out more about the famous count Dracula, but what they experienced was probably beyond their expectations.
During the event me and other students from Waseda, including one Romanian student performed traditional Romanian dances, and briefly introduced our history in Japanese. Also, another student from the University of Bucharest, Diana Borcea, performed traditional folk songs from 3 different parts of Romania. I think that our contributions, as small as they were, were really welcomed by the public. It was very rewarding to see everyone enjoy themselves.
This experience has taught me to be more confident in my own powers and trust that, when needed, you just have to ask and help will be given to you. I cannot thank the ICC staff enough for all their support. I am very grateful that I had the chance to work together with such a great team of people.
Now that my time here at Waseda is coming to an end, I wish to take all of these great experiences and what I learnt from them with me. I am sure that my time spent here and volunteering with the ICC will come in useful when I go back to my university in London. I hope we can still stay in touch after I am gone.