John [59期生（2018年春）] [ベトナム]
Looking back at 2 months spent in Japan with IATSS Forum, I realized this was by far the most impactful and memorable training program that I have ever attended.
I am personally impressed by the comprehensive, well-thought design & structure of the program. I find that each element of the program is carefully selected and well constructed to make sure it adds great value to the learning experience of participants.
Many of us came to this program with an objective which is to learn more about Japanese history, culture, people and philosophy. However, IATSS Forum provided us with a unique platform to learn those values of not only Japan, but also from 10 other countries, through 20 young leaders who carry the great responsibility of building sustainable communities back home.
The program did not only provide us with knowledge, skills and potential resources that a future leader needs, but it also brought us a wonderful family with friends from other countries, all the IATSS staff members (Ichiro-san, ‘Papa-san’ Ishi, Midori-san, Masumi-san, Hassy-san, Hiro-san, Teff-san, Yumi-san, Miho-san, Miki-san and Mie-san!), as well as our wonderful host families and volunteers (Hishasi-san, Yoko-san, Yudai, Momoka, Sakura, Syuta and Yoshi-san,….to name just a few).
It puts a big smile on our faces to remember late night group study sessions, mid-night cooking in the cafeteria, all the laughters, ups and downs moments we shared in this new family. Like a famous Japanese saying “Ichi-go Ichie”. We will be cherishing this ‘once in a lifetime’ friendship and memories for the rest of our lives. In fact, many of our 59th Batch participants experienced a little ‘IATSS-home-sick’ when we first returned to our home countries after completing the program in Suzuka, because we miss the good time and unique chemistry we developed together at IATSS Forum, or putting in another way: we just really miss “Us”.
Thinking of my IATSS Forum training experience, I believe this was one of the best things that could have happened to me, especially at this stage of my career. If there is one relevant wish I could make, I wish my children will one day also join the program like I and my dear friends in the Batch 59th did.
Last but not least, I am deeply grateful for my experience at IATSS Forum and I cannot wait to come back visit one day.
Thank you for everything.