Sixth months ago I nervously turned in my application to study abroad in Japan. My mind had been conflicted because even though I had such a strong desire to study abroad, my nerves about traveling across seas on my own to a country with a language different from my own, and the knowledge that I would not be able to meet my family and friends for 10 months weighed heavily on mind. However, a long two months later, when I found the news that I had been accepted to the program at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan my mind was simply ecstatic. In eight months I could be leaving for Japan, a country full of a new culture, language, and history which I have been studying for the past year and a half. Over winter break I talked to my family and friends and found only encouragement that this was a once in a life time experience, and excitement for my impending adventures.
I started studying Japanese after my brother began studying his first year in college. Every time he returned home over weekends or breaks he would teach me a little of the language and his interest sparked my own. After beginning my study my freshman year of college I fell in love with the language. I was never interested in English grammar, but I found myself being drawn to Japanese grammar and sentence structure as well as simply the way the language rolled off the tongue. After two semesters I realized that I didn’t want to stop learning Japanese through college and it was an easy decision to major in the language. When I first found out I had to study abroad in Japan for my major I rethought my decision. I have always been the one to make comfortable decisions, so traveling and studying in a country where I did not have confidence in my language abilities was a daunting prospect for me. One of my best friends, who became my roommate, was the one who gave me the courage to accept the challenge presented. She is studying abroad in a different city in Japan, but having her help and encouragement through the application process, as well as the support from my family and friends, granted me the confidence to go forward with my desire.
In five and a half months I will be leaving the United States and beginning my ten month journey to Japan. My nerves will probably never abate, and will most likely increase logarithmically with the approach of my departure, but with the support of my friends, family, and friends I will hopefully meet after I arrive, I will work hard at Sophia University and immerse myself in the amazing experience laid out before me.