Sun 22 Jun 2008
We’re coming to our last week here in Japan and feeling of sadness is coming over me. Overall the trip has been amazing. Before the trip, I was a little worried, because I knew absolutely no one that was going, granted I’ve seen most of them around on campus, but I wasn’t friends with any of them. Luckily we have all gotten along well for the most part and we’ve had a lot of fun together. I’ve enjoyed our class time and our field trips. Class has allowed me to explore a period of Japanese history which I was completely ignorant about and our field trips not only supplemented our class discussions, but it has allowed me visit shrines and temples that I would not see otherwise. Another concern of mine coming into the trip was having a Japanese roomate. I’ve completed my 1st year of Japanese, so I know the basics, but I was worried that the language barrier and cultural barrier would create an insurmountable barrier so we could not forge some type of relationship. Luckily my roomate speaks English and he’s extremely nice. If there was one thing I could change about the program, it would be the length. I feel that 1 month just isn’t enough time to get acclimated to the country and culture, and it makes the sensei’s crunch everything into a small time frame. I would have liked to spend 1month in Nagoya and 1month in Kyoto. That way we would have had adequate time to visit the majority of shrines and temples in Kyoto, while @ the same time spend enough time @ Nanzan with our roomates.