The St Norbert College Year 11 student said she hoped to use the experience at the Japan East Asia Network of Exchange of Students and Youth Program to set herself on a path to medicine and curing disease.
‘Japan is well known for its amazing technology, particularly in medicine, which was a big factor in my application,’ the 16-year-old said.
‘I would like to travel to developing countries to help combat diseases.’
Maria said she planned to study medicine at university and eventually become a doctor.
‘I want to be hands on and help people all around the world,’ she said.
‘In the future, I would like to travel to developing countries to help combat diseases in those countries.’
Maria said she had always wanted to visit Japan because of her strong ties with the country through relatives.
She has learnt Japanese since Year 5.
‘I can’t wait to experience the culture and learn about the technology,’ she said.
‘They have some really cool stuff over there.
‘I am most looking forward to making unforgettable memories that I will treasure for many years to come.’
Maria said she received the application from her Japanese teacher and expressed enthusiasm for Japanese culture and technology.
‘When my dad showed me the email saying I was accepted, I was beyond happy,’ she said.
‘Even now, I can’t describe how happy I felt. I was jumping and running around the house in disbelief.
‘I was over the moon – I still am – and I feel so blessed.’
Maria will join 300 students in Tokyo from the Oceanic region from December 1 to December 10.