One month away…Nagoya, Spring 2012
As hard as it is to believe, some of my classes have already finished! For those that haven’t yet, there are only two more weeks of classes, most of which will be spent on break anyway due to Japanese holidays. After that, there are about another two weeks to study before the final, the farewell party, and the return home for the majority of students. How is this even possible?
When the CJS office had us go to a pre-departure orientation last week, it suddenly dawned on me just how soon this whole experience will be ending. It feels as if just yesterday I stepped off the plane and explained to the custom officer that I was a ryuugakusei (study abroad student) at Nanzan University. Just about four months later, as I look back, I realize I certainly have experienced a lot.
I have made amazing friends from all over the world, lived with a Japanese family, seen half-naked men run around at a festival, and much more. Not to mention I truly feel I have made progress with my Japanese. I sometimes find myself shocked at the conversations I am now able to have. Although I’m sure my conversations are still riddled with mistakes, the point of language is communication and I never thought that in this little time, I’d be able to communicate so much. Less than two years ago I began learning Japanese and here I am making jokes, gossiping, discussing love, life, all sorts of things, all in Japanese. For class today, I even did a presentation in Japanese, 5 minutes long, all about the differences in parent-children relationships in America, Japan, and Australia. Although it seems like no big deal now, I know that when I arrived, I certainly wouldn’t have been capable of doing so, at least not with the fluidity I was able to today.
It is bittersweet realizing the spring semester will end in a month. I’m sad that it will be over and yet glad that I’ve been able to study here. In a way, I am even glad that I will be sad because if I weren’t sad, it would mean I hadn’t been enjoying myself. That being said, I am enjoying myself so much, I am not in any way ready to leave.
Luckily for me, Nanzan University has opened up a new summer program starting this year and I have applied. Now I’m simply waiting for a response. Hopefully they aren’t ready to get rid of me yet either and I’ll be able to stay until the end of July, improving my Japanese even more. Although seeing everyone return home to their respective states, even countries, will be a sad experience, I have made some great friends and I look forward to the day when I will be able to meet up with them again whether in America or in Japan… or any other country for that matter. Who knows what life has in store for me.
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