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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Study Abroad Experience- Part 5

My Study Abroad Experience
Part 5: Leaving Japan
UNO-Japan: Study at Doshisha University
Studying in Kyoto, Japan
To learn more go to inst.uno.edu/japan or contact them at UNOJapan@uno.edu or (504)280-6388.

Five weeks may seem like a long time, but it goes by so fast. When it was nearing the time to leave Japan I felt like I had only just arrived. I was just getting settled in. I felt myself rushing to do as many things as I could before I left. That last week was like the end of a roller coaster. You see the end coming so you really focus on enjoying the ride while it's still moving. That was how I felt. After classes I was always trying to fill my time with sightseeing and activities I knew I wouldn't be able to enjoy back in America. I remember going to see Kinkakuji and Fushimi Inari my last week because I never got the chance to go before. I was so glad I got to fit those two sights in at the last week.
Kinkakuji and Fushimi Inari, both found in different parts of Kyoto.
Then our final exams came. For classes such as Literature and History we had to type a paper. For Japanese classes we had to complete an online exam in a certain amount of time. Many of us waited until the last night of classes to write our papers. I still laugh about it today. I had about five people in my room trying to type papers. We all were typing on our laptops, trying to get these papers done. I was having so much trouble completing the paper because I was still freaking out about leaving Japan. A friend of mine who was not worried about papers came into my room inviting us to karaoke with his Japanese friends. The people in my room declined the offer. Another friend and myself decided to join the karaoke party. It was my first karaoke experience so I'm glad I went. I had a blast that night. When karaoke was done I knew I had to get to work on my paper. I finished it that night and turned it in the next day. It felt like I was able to finish the paper because I knew I had done everything I could possibly do in Japan. I felt accomplished.

Friends finishing their papers and me in a karaoke room with another friend.
One of the things a group of us did was have dinner for the last time in the tatami room. This tatami room was a place for the student to eat together. You would sit on a pillow seat, at a low table. There were no shoes allowed in this room because of the tatami floors that were made out of bamboo straw. It was a pretty room, and we used about two other times besides our last dinner. The dinner consisted of food our parents sent us in the mail. It was a nice spread and we had lots of food. We had about seven of us in the tatami room, having dinner. It was a great last moment to have at our dorms.

After classes, on the last night in Japan, was the closing ceremony. The teachers tallied our grades and granted us our certificates. All the faculty and staff involved in the program was present at the closing ceremony. It was a different atmosphere than the opening ceremony. We were all friends by this time. Even the Japanese students who were our partners felt closer. It was a sad but good time we all had together.
All the faculty and students of the 2010 UNO Japan study abroad program.
Studying abroad is probably one of the greatest adventures anybody can ever have. It's filled with new people, new places, and new opportunities waiting to be experienced. I was very sad to leave, not knowing if I would ever get the chance to visit Japan again. I'm lucky enough to have that chance, but I can honestly say going on this studying abroad program has changed my life. 

Thanks for following my study abroad adventure! I hope this helps some of you take the plunge.

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