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A dental exchange program in Japan: my experiences

09 January 2024

Dian Kenny, a fourth-year dentistry student from UWC, had the incredible opportunity to participate in the Sakura Exchange Program in Japan.


I was fortunate enough to be selected as part of the Sakura Exchange Program. A group of five fourth-year dentistry students were chosen for this exchange program in Japan.

Upon our arrival in Japan, our Japanese colleagues were waiting for us at the airport, providing us with a warm welcome.

We visited two universities, Asahi University in Osaka and Meikai University in Tokyo. We explored their clinics, and I was completely amazed. I couldn't believe how advanced they were in terms of technology. Everything worked seamlessly, and the materials and equipment were state-of-the-art.

We even took the bullet train from Osaka to Tokyo, catching a glimpse of the famous Mount Fuji along the way – a true highlight of my trip. It's said that those who see Mount Fuji are considered lucky. Additionally, our visit to GC Dental Material Company in Tokyo left me amazed. The materials and equipment were top-notch, and I wished I could bring some back to South Africa.

We also had some leisure time to relax and do some sightseeing. In the evenings, we explored the streets of Tokyo and bought souvenirs for our friends and family back home.

Saving the best for last – the food! Words can't describe how amazing the culinary experience was. Our colleagues made sure we tried everything. If you're a sushi fan, Japan is a must-visit. The wagyu beef and rice wine were also delightful!

The trip itself was wonderful. Everyone there got along well, and we truly got to know each other. Initially, we were just friends, but by the end of the trip, we felt more like a mini-family.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be chosen for an exchange program in Japan. This was genuinely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! I am truly grateful for this opportunity and will always cherish the memorable moments in my heart.