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Students in portrait – Jhan Araja: Jetting across the globe

2019-05-06 The Filipino student studies International Business Administration & Entrepreneurship (IBAE) at the College, works successfully in a social media team and is writing a novel thanks to his complementary studies.

Jhan Araja received some quite unusual career counselling: He heard about Leuphana for the first time in Brisbane, Australia. “I was studying law then. But the subject was too dry for me,” recalls the 24-year-old. Back-packers from northern Germany told him about Lüneburg and the Leuphana. Araja was very interested: not only could he study in English, but also bring in his different interests. “Economics is a very important subject and puts me on a firm professional footing. However, Leuphana and my complementary studies give me loads of opportunities to apply my creative potential”.
For Araja, going to Germany was no difficult step to take. He was born in the Philippines, his parents soon moved to England with him and his siblings. Araja's mother is a sought-after nurse and found a very good job in London. A few years later, the family moved to Australia. But soon, Araja felt the grip of wanderlust again: “I wanted to be independent"”. When he went to Germany, his parents were particularly proud. “German universities have a very good reputation in the world,” says Araja.

He is now in his sixth IBAE semester and is already applying the skills he acquired professionally. The student is successful in marketing. His Instagram fashion and travel blogs have over 11,000 followers. He is also part of the social media team of a Hamburg member of parliament. “My course prepares me very well for the job. Lectures and seminars deal not only with economics, but also ethics and psychology, for example. I can use this knowledge well in marketing. PR is a future perspective for me,” says Araja. He particularly appreciates the international orientation of the course: “We learn a lot about foreign markets and will therefore ensure that are not spatially limited at all later on,” says Araja.

He can imagine living in many countries and learning other languages. He has been living in Germany for a good three years now. He now speaks German fluently. Again and again, he takes courses: “If you can't speak the language, you miss too much of a country's culture”. Jhan likes to deal with words. In addition to his studies and work, he is writing a book about a disabled friend: “I'm glad that the university offers me so many opportunities to develop. I learned a lot about creative writing in my complementary studies.”

Araja had a good start at Leuphana right from the start: “The International Office is very supportive. I wasn't even confused,” he remembers. Despite successes and many German friends: Jhan misses his parents and siblings. He therefore flies to Australia at least once a year where he enjoys the sun, the culture and his family. Most recently, they all celebrated the New Year together in the Philippines. Afterwards, Araja visited Japan for another week. The flight from Tokyo to Hamburg takes about twelve hours. Globetrotter Jhan spent that time learning.

Author: Marietta Hülsmann