Recipient of the Joshua Haglund Memorial Peace Scholarship
"... I need to break out of my comfort zone, that's why this program is perfect for me." —Melinda
Tell Us About Your Program
It is a bit difficult to put into words what I loved about studying abroad in Japan; I loved almost everything. I loved learning the language, meeting the people, exploring neighborhoods of Tokyo, going on trips, learning cultural differences, and even learning how to appreciate differences I did not always view at first as positive to begin with. I loved waking up every day and thinking about how I could experience something new or see something new.
How Were You Affected by the People and Culture?
My commute from my dorm on the busiest train lines to school became a rather comfortable, if not mundane task, and customs such as not walking and eating, refraining from using my phone on the train, bowing as a thank you, and standing on the left side of the escalator all became the ‘norm’ for me. Furthermore, I felt my Japanese becoming better, slowly, but I still felt the progress and I noticed my confidence increased in speaking to many different kinds of people in Japan.
What Did You Learn from Your Experience?
I felt very accustomed to live in Japan by the final days and I felt so confident in speaking that when it was time to leave I could not help but feel very sad and a sense of loss even before leaving Japan.