Monday, September 29, 2014

Theodore C - Hirakata, Japan - Fall 2014

For my study abroad experience, I knew that I wanted to go somewhere truly different. I did not want it to be somewhere that I could easily get around using only English as I felt that it would take away from my experience. This in turn ruled out most of the western world, so I then turned my search eastward. One country that immediately came to mind was China, but political developments at the time me uneasy about studying there. I also want to be somewhere that I could easily study the influences of the western world and learn about the current state of East Asian relations. So I ultimately decided to go to the land of the rising sun: Japan.

Usually when you bring up Japan, most people begin to conjure images of Geisha, Sushi, Samurai, or Anime in their heads and while these are certainly all aspects of Japanese culture, I soon discovered that they were only fragments of a much larger and beautiful picture.
Upon my arrival in Japan, I was instantly hit with a sense of euphoria and wonder that has yet to dissipate.  Japan has one of the oldest and most unique cultures in the world, and its presence can be felt in everything from basic house manners to social interactions. Everyday feels like an adventure as I try to adjust to this fascinating culture and begin to understand its inner workings. Learning how to speak and write, while difficult, has been extremely rewarding. I get a rush every time I am able to successfully read a sign or menu. The people I have met here are also one of a kind. Two of my good friends are Argentinean and have helped expose me to the surrounding area and life at Kansai Gaidai in general. One of the things I enjoy about my University is the diverse student body. I like going to the student lounge and just talking with random people about where they are from and what their views are on current events. I find it fascinating to hear about how people perceive the events and getting to learn about their individual countries. I can’t wait to continue my adventure and further expose myself to note only Japanese culture, but those of my fellow students as well.


Blogger Aditya Sharma said...

Hi Theodore, my name is Aditya and i'm preparing to study abroad in the Spring ('15). I was wondering how you went about selecting classes for your major. Were there any specific guidelines that you followed? Thanks, Aditya.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Kris Willard said...

Hiya Teddy! I'm glad to see that you are enjoying your time in Japan! I will be studying in Yokahama and Kobe Japan in late January 2015. I'm sad I'll only be there a short time and I won't get to see you! I was wondering if you have any suggestions of things that I should experience while I am there. I'm going on city tours and seeing some theatre, any other suggestions? Any cool food I should try? I'm so excited to experience the unique culture of Japan, thanks for sharing your experience. :) - Kris

3:48 PM  

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