Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Message from Japan: Katina Tsangarides

We are excited to share special messages from AU students who are currently studying in Japan. These include insights and observations that you might find especially useful when you arrive in Japan. Please feel free to leave a comment and let us know your thoughts or questions.

Katina Tsangarides
Waseda University

Deciding to study abroad in Japan for the year was one of the best choices of my life. Not only did I get to live in one of the most incredible cities in the world, but I got to feel at home in it. I went to school, made friends, worked an 'arubaito', and lived with a host family. Of course, it took some time to get used to life in Japan, and not everything was always so fun and easy. I had to adjust to a society where English speakers are rare, and the metro has more than six lines. I had to abandon my vegetarian ways to fit in with my host family, and I had to learn how to move and pay bills, all in another language. But all of the positive experiences and knowledge I've gained far outweigh the difficulties. Japan has given me a chance to experience a language and culture very unique from that of America's, and has opened my eyes to ideas I would have never considered had I spent my whole life in the western world. And for that, every embarrassing language mistake I've made, every time I've hopped on the rapid train instead of the local one, and every time I've misread a menu, and ordered something with more tentacles than I'd like, has been worth it.

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