3. Synthia: Bridging Cultures and Building Dreams in Japan

Synthia: Bridging Cultures and Building Dreams in Japan

Studying in Japan has proven to be a transformative journey for Synthia, an Ashinaga Africa Initiative (AAI) Scholar whose experiences extend far beyond the academic realm. Her time in Japan has broadened her global exposure and has also been a catalyst for personal growth, pushing her boundaries and fostering an appreciation for diverse cultures.


Synthia’s immersion in Japan has been more than just attending lectures; it has been a holistic experience of sharing meals, celebrating festivals, interning, and volunteering with students and lecturers worldwide. This exposure has woven a web of understanding transcending geographical boundaries, enabling her to navigate cultural nuances and appreciate diverse perspectives.


While the journey in Japan has had moments of longing for the familiar warmth of home, Synthia acknowledges the unexpected kindness of the AAI community, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, which has eclipsed those moments.


Beyond her academic pursuits, Synthia has embraced a unique cultural initiative in Japan – hair braiding. What started as a skill acquired out of necessity to care for her younger sister in her mother’s absence has evolved into a powerful cultural integration initiative. Synthia has become the go-to person for hair services for people with African hair types in her prefecture, fostering connections and promoting cultural integration among fellow Africans in Japan.


Managing school, part-time work, an internship, and hair appointments has honed Synthia’s organizational skills and instilled a sense of responsibility. Navigating the entrepreneurial aspects of her venture has also enhanced her business acumen, providing a unique blend of cultural appreciation and practical life skills.


Synthia’s “Kokorozashi” extends beyond personal achievements; her goal is to enhance Cameroon’s educational system. Committed to fostering positive change, she aims to improve public policies, curriculum, and access to quality education to benefit students and the nation.


Looking ahead, Synthia aspires to deepen her understanding of global dynamics by pursuing a postgraduate degree in international relations. Her ambitions are centered on a future career where she actively contributes to fostering international cooperation and diplomacy.


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