I chose to study in Japan because I wanted to study Japanese at a higher level than what my home university offered, and to have a fresh cultural perspective. I wanted to be taken out of my comfort zone and be forced to challenge my worldview.
It has benefited me in my academics, especially by giving me a true immersive experience in Japanese. I have been able to make real and rapid development of my skills in Japanese language, which has given me lots of interesting experiences and will likely open new doors for me in the future. In my non-language classes, I have learned in detail about elements of history, anthropology and, of course, linguistics from a perspective I would not have been able to access otherwise in Canada.In a benefit both academic and personal, I quickly made lots of friends and connections with local people who warmly welcomed me as part of their communities. Thanks to these new connections, I have been able to open my mind a lot more to a broader worldview.
You must learn to question your ‘normal’ every day: your culture, identity, and existence in a truly ‘foreign’ place. It is a journey that never really ends.
As of today, I have completed three months abroad, and I intend to remain for another seven months or so. In these three months, I have had a number of life-changing experiences and have grown as a person more than I could have imagined. I cannot predict what remains in store for me as I continue to pursue my studies abroad here in Japan.