Studying in the Japanese Countryside

Grace Gettig Major: Japanese and Global and International Studies Daito Bunka University, AY 2018-2019 はじめまして。グレースと申します。専攻は日本語と国際関係で、五年生です。今学期、日本の大東文化大学に留学しています。 Hello! My name is Grace. I am a 5thyear Japanese and Global & International Studies double major at Western Michigan University (WMU). Currently, I am spending one year studying abroad in Japan. The university I am studying at is Daito…

A Fascination that Turned into Study Abroad

Amy Nguyen Major: Management Rikkyo University, AY 2018-2019 When I was little, there was a TV show that had an episode that featured Japan. I was unaware of this country, but I was fascinated by the scenery, food, the traditional clothing, and Japan’s culture overall. I knew that I wanted to visit one day. What…

Pre-Departure Jitters

Jasmine Kraemer Major: Japanese and Interdisciplinary Health Services Keio University, AY 2018-2019 Ok, so here I am. About to embark on the journey of a lifetime…and I can’t seem to find my winter hat. Not just any winter hat, but my VIXX winter hat. You may ask, “what’s so important about a hat?” and you…

200 Hours

Elizabeth Riegler Major: Psychology and Japanese Doshisha University, AY 18-19 I have one week until I leave. I’m not worried about navigating the airport, packing my entire life into a suitcase, or the 19 hours of travel. What really scares me is the sheer scale of what I’m doing. My family won’t be an hour’s…

Why I Chose Kyoto

Pamela Gudobba Major: Japanese and Global and International Studies Ritsumeikan University, Academic Year 2018-2019 I’ve made the decision to study abroad for one year at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. While I was going through the list of potential universities, I knew I had a few requirements I wanted my school to meet. First, I…

The Best Year of My Life

Michelle Moore Japanese and Global and International Studies Majors Ritsumeikan University, 2015-16 Academic Year During the 2015-2016 academic school year I studied abroad in Kyoto, Japan at Ritsumeikan University. In contrast to a normal study abroad experience I personally never felt any sort of culture shock or down period during my trip. I even planned…

To LAKE BIWA!

Robert Van Aartsen Japanese Major Ritsumeikan University, Japan Academic Year 2017-2018 The day started at the crack of 9:30 with excitement about the day’s excitement for a trip with friends to Lake Biwa. To be honest I had no idea what people wanted to do with going to the lake, I didn’t even really know…

End Of Orientation And Dealing With Disappointment

Robert Van Aartsen Japenese Major Ritsumeikan University, Japan Academic Year 2017-2018   The end of this week brings the end of the Study Abroad Orientation. I won’t exactly be missing it. In general, this week has had some better moments, but has also had its fair share of trials as well. Now though, with all…

Small Victories And Compiling Frustrations

Robert Van Aartsen Japenese Major Ritsumeikan University, Japan Academic Year 2017-2018 Be it the extra exercise, the changed diet, the stress of living in a new country, or the early hour I’m waking up, every day by the time dinner time, or often even just after lunch, I find myself extremely tired. Today was another…

Calm Before The Storm

Robert Van Aartsen Japenese Major Ritsumeikan University, Japan Academic Year 2017-2018 Wow, already one week! It’s definitely been a blur and not one day has been anything like another. I am glad that, comparatively, today was my first rest day. Not to say I still didn’t get up at 5AM and run around campus. I…

Comprehending The Great Gift And Honor Of Living In Another Country

Robert Van Aartsen Japenese Major Ritsumeikan University, Japan Academic Year 2017-2018 Today was another, long, interesting, exciting, and extremely productive day! That’s something I couldn’t say often at Western. Most days were productive. Many were interesting. A few were long and exciting, but after the first few days of events and newness at Western, I…

First Day Ups And Downs

Robert Van Aartsen Japenese Major Ritsumeikan University, Japan Academic Year 2017-2018 Moving now into my third day of Japan, I am recovering from sleep, I think, and making progress with adjusting, but I still have a far way to go. While the last days were full of nervous energy of how do I get from…