Study Overseas Alumni #5 - Chiqui Manalastas
Chiqui Manalastas graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2017 with a Bachelor of Nursing. She took part in the Nursing Japan study tour, which lead her to focus on a more globally-focused career, starting with the Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand Cultural Exchange Program.
Chiqui was born in the Philippines, raised in Japan for ten years, then grew up in Australia for twelve years. She had previously travelled many times before she took part in the Nursing Japan study tour - to Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Hawaii, and the Philippines.
The Nursing Japan study tour took place in Hyogo, Japan, during summer school in 2016. Chiqui applied as she wanted to visit Japan again after growing up there. She was also interested in seeing what Japanese healthcare was like.
One of the highlights of the study tour for Chiqui was staying with a host family. She was allocated one who took her on a road trip to visit a town famous for hot springs, as well as to a strawberry farm and many other locations. She also shadowed a nurse in a Japanese hospital in three different wards of her choice, which gave her the opportunity to hold a newborn baby while in the maternity ward of the hospital.
While on the study tour, Chiqui realised that she had room to improve on her conversational Japanese skills, particularly when speaking the language in a professional environment. She was able to practice translating, and also to practice her leadership skills, as she was nominated as the team leader for the duration of the study tour. Chiqui also tells us that her study tour also strengthened her love for Japan and her desire to travel, not only to other parts of Japan, but all over the world.
After completing the study tour, Chiqui realised that she wanted to pursue a career more internationally focused, and completed an internship with the Walt Disney Company as part of their Australia and New Zealand Cultural Exchange Program. This allowed her to work with a team of different nationalities, and also gave her the opportunity to promote her bilingual skills in Japanese and English, as well as demonstrate her leadership abilities that she gained from being the leader of her study tour. During this internship, Chiqui was a Food and Beverage Hostess around three different locations at Walt Disney World. Interns are usually placed in one or two locations – Chiqui was lucky to be able to work in three. Her locations were:
- The Plaza Ice Cream Parlour in Magic Kingdom
- Pinocchio Village Haus in Magic Kingdom
- Food and Wine Festival at the neighbouring EPCOT theme park
After her study tour, Chiqui realised she had a passion for travel. She considered alternative careers that would still allow her to communicate with and care for people of different backgrounds. Since graduating, she is now pursuing a career as a flight attendant, pushing herself to step out of her comfort zone.
In the next six months, Chiqui hopes to land a cabin crew position. She would like to return to Japan again and visit relatives, as well as her host family and friends she made on her study tour. She would also like to travel to Europe, as it is one location she hasn’t yet explored.
Chiqui believes that every experience you undertake in life shapes you. While she hasn’t pursued her career in nursing, Chiqui’s study tour made her realise that she wanted an internationalised future where she could interact with different cultures and put her language skills to good use. She believes that the study tour helped her get to where she is now, and that it was not only an academic experience, but a lesson in life as well.