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Jolie is currently studying at Salisbury East High School as part of a program offered by Tokyo Prefecture.
Always having an interest in studying abroad, Jolie is currently living in Adelaide as a participant in the ‘Next Generation Leadership Training Academy’ international study program. The academy was established by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education and offered to public high school students who want to take on the challenge of studying abroad.
It is designed to broaden the minds, improve English, build resilience and give a sense of purpose to the young people who will be responsible for carrying Japan forward into a future international society.
Of the students from Tokyo public high schools chosen to take part in the Next Generation Leadership Training Academy, currently 74 are attending different high schools and staying with homestay families across Adelaide. They will study here for approximately one year from when they started in February 2015.
Jolie, born to a Japanese mother and a Sudanese father, says that her interest in foreign countries has always been strong. She also loves learning new things and talking to people.
“I want to talk with people from all over the world so I want to improve my level of English,” she said.
And with this she applied for an opportunity in the Next Generation Leadership Training Academy, passed the competitive screening process, and made real her dream to study abroad.
The program offers participants the option to study either in America or Canada, or in Australia or New Zealand, and Jolie chose the Australia/New Zealand option because, she said: “I think I have more opportunities to meet people from America and Canada in Japan.”
Arriving for her first time in Australia, she says that she really likes the fact that people are so friendly.
She said: "At the bus stop, in the bus, at the shops, everywhere you go, people speak in a friendly way. They never forget to say ‘thank you’ to the bus driver as they get off the bus! The interactions between these people has really left an impression on me."
She is now enjoying her fulfilling life as an international student in her Year 10 class at Salisbury East High School, but at first she found it hard to join in and sat quietly on the outskirts.
However, she explained: “You shouldn't think too much about it. Even if it sounds a bit weird, it is better to just jump in and talk about something.”
After that, she began to become even better friends with her classmates and says she was able to relax a lot more. “I think that I can express myself honestly here," she said. "I am having a great experience at school and, if I could, I’d love to stay here until I graduate.”
Jolie has now begun to hold a firm vision since beginning her studies in Adelaide. “Since coming here I have started to realise the vast difference between Australian and Japanese people," she added.
"I have really taken an interest in what it is to be ‘human’.
"It’s made me want to study psychology; something I never thought about in Japan. I’ve always thought that one day in the future I’d like to live overseas, and I’ve decided that next time I want to study psychology abroad.”
New dreams are certainly starting to grow as a result of Jolie being a part of this international program and attending Salisbury East High School.