Maria Handoko

Recipient Profile


Language: Japanese

Location of Study: Hakodate

Program of Study: Hakodate International Foundation

Sponsors: Center for Study of Languages and Cultures

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A brief personal bio:

My name is Monalisa and I am from the tropical islands of Indonesia. Currently, I am studying Neuroscience and Behavior here at Notre Dame. On a typical day, I would probably be singing way too loud in the shower, baking, and catching up on deadlines. Beyond my academic path, I am enthusiastic in music, food, and conserving the planet.

Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:

My family has always been very supportive for me both financially and spiritually so that I can achieve my goals. The SLA grant is important for me because it allows me to independently pursue my ambition to learn Japanese. Through my family’s business which was working with an external multicultural and lingual organization, I was able to experience two weeks in Japan for a cultural exchange program. Not only did I fell in love with Japanese culture, art, and the kindness of Japanese people, but seeing the partnership between this organization and my family’s business continue, I felt like learning Japanese would be fulfilling for me and could allow me to extend this exchange between Indonesia and Japan. I plan to pursue Japanese as a minor in Notre Dame and use the ability to speak Japanese language not only to fulfill a university requirement but to seek a career in Japan and build connections between Indonesian and Japanese educational institutions.

What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:

Through this summer study abroad experience in Hakodate, I aim to increase my level of proficiency and expand my knowledge of Japanese language and culture. I hope to be able to communicate fluently and effectively in Japanese. I intend to experience Japanese culture to the fullest by living with a Japanese family, communicating in Japanese with locals, as well as participating in cultural classes provided by HIF. By being in a multi-cultural and multi-lingual environment consisting of people around the world, I also hope that I can also contribute to enriching the cultural interaction by sharing a piece of my Indonesian culture to the community in Japan.

My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:

1. By the end of the summer, I will be able to communicate with Japanese people about daily life and conveying my own opinions in Japanese

2. By the end of the summer, I will be able to reach the level of proficiency that is equivalent to two semesters beyond my current Japanese coursework placement at Notre Dame

3. By the end of the summer, I will be able to demonstrate cultural sensitivity and a willingness to take intercultural risks by engaging in cultural and linguistic interactions that are beyond my comfort zone