My first opportunity to travel to Japan occurred while at High School in Germany. I knew no Japanese at the time, but was part of a five-month exchange programme with a school in Osaka. It was a fairly natural progression from there to study BA Japanese and Media at my hometown university in Tubingen. In Germany, most students continue on to take an MA, and it was my professors at Tubingen who recommended that I apply at SOAS. I was surprised to discover how closely the SOAS course matched what I wanted to study. I wanted to maintain a primary research interest in film, but to extend my knowledge to include other Asian countries as well as Japan. I have found the course at SOAS amazing, not only in its content, but also in the international diversity of students on the course, which I could not have found anywhere else in the world. Each student brings a different perspective on film studies, viewed through the lens of their own cultural background, which leads to lots of interesting discussions. I hope to take this exposure to such an international environment into my future documentary filmmaking.