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Alexandre Prestele

Final Report

Preface
Since I was a child, the foreign, the distant, the different have always been a source of fascination to me, because they offer innumerable opportunities to make discoveries and to experience new things. Somehow and for inexplicable reasons the country of the rising sun started to exert a mysterious attraction power over me and it became a sort of charismatic entity – one that could be endlessly explored – that would stay at my side until now.

This kind of primal interest in Japan has been reinforced by encounters with Japanese people or people that worked in Japan; people who all gave me in their ways insights into the Japanese culture. At last I have been soaking up every kind of information coming from Japan like a sponge. Being a child and a teenager it started with pop-culture but then, little by little, more things came along; history, philosophy or literature and more pop-culture.

My joy was great when I found out about the Scholarship of the Scholarship Fund of the Swiss-Japanese Chamber of Commerce. It represents a unique opportunity to spend a year in Japan under great conditions and to make experiences that will never be forgotten. This report aims to describe some of these experiences from March 2008 to October 2009 and to give useful leads to future scholarship holders. The first two parts are thought as a small guide for the new scholarship holder and summarize the most important issues that are to be taken care of before leaving for and after arriving in Japan. In the third section I will talk about my experience learning Japanese at KAI Japanese Language School, looking for an internship and my working experience at the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum. In the next part I will give a microintroduction to Japanese literature. Finally, a collection of helpful links can be found at the end of this report.

Before starting however, I would like to express my deepest thankfulness to Mr. Dudler and his two associates from the Scholarship Fund for their generosity and to all people that have been supporting me.