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JENESYS 2.0 Japanese Pop Culture Batch

Hello friends! I’M BACK TO MY BLOG AFTER ONE YEAR! Hahaha. Suddenly today I want to share about my experience joining the JENESYS2.0 Program in Japan (2013). 2,5 years has passed, but I still want you to know hahaha.

The JENESYS Program (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths) is a project advanced by the Japanese government from the standpoint of providing a sound foundation for strong solidarity within Asia through large-scale youth exchange (please find the detailed information from this link

Official Logo for JENESYS2.0

What you have to know is that this program is 100% FREE, once you get the invitation to join this program, Japanese government will arrange and pay everything for you (airplane ticket, food, hotel, transportation, etc.) during this program. You just need to bring your body and soul LOL, and some money for your own expense like souvenirs, etc.   

Well, that was my first time coming to Japan, and even my first time going abroad. I really admire Japan as a country and I love its culture as well, so being able to participate in such program was like my dream came true! This program made me fall in love with Japan even more, maybe that was one of the reasons why I finally ended up as an exchange student in Japan (yeah, Japan again).

Not all batch of JENESYS2.0 Program is opened to university students; sometimes the program is opened only for high school students, or opened only for special participation. Every batch of JENESYS2.0 Program has different selection process. I was very lucky because this batch was opened for university students, so I could join the selection process.

The Selection Process

I knew the information about this program from my friend Gideon (thank you so much Gideon <3) who sent me the link about the program, it was from the Embassy of Japan in Indonesia’s website (

What I did was filling out an application form, uploading a short (2 minutes) video expressing how much I love (yeah!) Japanese Pop Culture to YouTube, then sending the link to the Embassy of Japan in Indonesia.  My video might have touched their heart (ahahaha) so finally I got selected as one of the 18 Indonesian representatives to join this program. This was the video, pardon my face and hair and braces btw.

The theme “Japanese Pop Culture” in this program was divided into 3 parts: animation, fashion, and entertainment. I was in animation group since I chose animation in the application form yeay!

The Program

The participants were from 14 countries: ASEAN members countries + India + Timor Leste + Australia + New Zealand. The program took place in some cities in Japan. We visited many places related to animation industry in Japan. In the last two days, we had group presentation presenting about what we got during the program, such as: our impression about Japan and its popular culture, the differences between Japanese culture and our culture, etc.

At Yoyogi Animation Gakuin, Tokyo

After the cultural show! 

This was also my first time having so many good friends from many countries! We still keep in touch even until now, mostly through Facebook.

At Namba, Osaka

We finished the program and got the certificate

Oh! This program allowed us to have a homestay experience as well! Although it was only a one-night-homestay, I could really feel omotenashi, the power of Japanese hospitality… I felt like I had a real family in Japan. We still keep contact through email, especially during new year.

With Takashina Family
Photo by Takashina Yutaka

They took us to Universal Studio Japan! Thank you so much!
Photo by Takashina Yutaka 

I will tell you the detail (places we visited, things we did, impression we felt, etc.) later in different articles okay. What I want you to know from this post is that this kind of program really exists!!! hahaha.

I cried a lot at the last day of the program huhuhu. Unexpectedly, the bond among us the participants has grown really strong, despite the language and cultural barrier (of course all of us tried hard to use English all the time and even tried to learn each other’s language and culture LOL). I wish I could meet everyone again in the future!

After going back to our own country, we were asked to make an individual report and share our experience in our own university. By doing these, I could look back about what happened during the program. Well that was fun as well!

For the first time in my life, this program has really opened up my mind about friendship built among people from different countries. Thank you so much JENESYS2.0! Thank you so much Japan!