I’ve dreamed about Japan since secondary school. The history of the samurai, for example. I just love that. I never thought I’d get to go to Japan, but through Arnhem Business School I could. When I was 17 and still living in Kazakhstan, I wasn’t thinking about my future. I didn’t know what I wanted to study, or what I wanted to become. My sister, who studied law in Moscow, urged me to go abroad. My study agency in Kazakhstan told me that Arnhem Business School in the Netherlands offered a very good range of Bachelors courses in business. It was also affordable for my family. At first, I struggled to make myself understood. I had learned English in Kazakhstan, but mostly grammar. Everything at Arnhem Business School is in English: reading, writing, talking (…) the whole day. I also improved my English outside of school. I started talking to everyone in my student flat. The teaching style was completely new to me. What you learn, you often immediately put into practice. In the first year, for example, we had to run our own business and work with international students from other courses. The first year was also the hardest year. I had to learn about new subjects in English instead of in my native language. To move on and study in Japan, I also had to earn almost all my credits without resits. I’m proud that I succeeded. And I still can’t believe I studied for half a year at a partner university in Japan. It was an unbelievable experience! Since I returned to the Netherlands, I’ve taken kendo lessons twice a week. It’s amazing that I can do that here! But this country is so multicultural; you can get to know so many different cultures here. One of the highlights was meeting my girlfriend, Zhanna. She’s also from Kazakhstan and studied in Arnhem for a half year as part of an exchange programme. I’d like to find a job in business in the Netherlands, and eventually start a family with my girlfriend.