Studying in Japan
Blogger: Miranda Sieg
(Belated) welcome back! For me, too.
So, I studied abroad second semester last year, which was quite possibly the most awesome thing ever. Like, ever. I’ll go over some of the (minor) complaints I had and then get into the awesome.
I studied abroad in Japan, which is where I’ve wanted to be my entire life. Occidental’s study abroad program there is through a college called Tokyo International University, and I’ll have to say that the academic electives I took there were probably some of the most boring/least useful classes I’ve ever taken in my life. So not only did I waste a ton of learning-time, I also came back to my senior year with the worst case of senioritis in the history of ever.
That said, it didn’t take long for me to get back into the swing of things. Besides, who wants to be doing homework while they’re abroad? And that was my only complaint. The Japanese classes were awesome, way better than the ones even at Oxy, not that just being there wasn’t lesson enough. I actually find it really hard to talk about my study abroad experience because everything about it was so awesome, but, whenever people ask me what the best part was I say friends, and two months after the fact that still holds true.
Over fall break last weekend me and another Oxy friend went up to visit our study abroad buddies at Willamette University, which was super awesome. Not only did we get to hang out with them, but we skyped with a bunch of our friends back in Japan. Having connections, not only with other Americans/Europeans that have the same interests as you, but also with people from the country we studied abroad in, is so special.
I’m a senior, which means I’m writing my thesis this year, and I’m double-majoring, so I’m actually writing two (!!!) but it’s going very well. I’m talking about modern social issues in Japan and Korea. The reason I bring it up is because not only did my study abroad experience shape, and actually give me my ideas for my papers, but I’ve been able to talk to my Japanese friends about it personally, to see what their thoughts are as people who grew up in that environment.
The bottom line is, study abroad is awesome, and amazing, and even if you don’t have a particular connection to a specific country like I do, you should do it because at the least you will be experiencing something new, and it will change your outlook on everything for the better. At the most, you will find a family away from family and a whole new world opening up to you in ways you’ve never thought possible. I loved studying abroad. It got me addicted to all sorts of bad music, and introduced me to so many good people!