A journey through Japan

A journey through Japan

Why was I interested in the Japan program?

I wanted to be apart of the study abroad program to revisit and explore more of what Japan has to offer than what I remembered when I was 12 years old living in Misawa, Japan; basically the country and closed off part of Japan. I genuinely wanted to learn the history, language, customs and to see the landscapes and temples with my own eyes. One of the most exciting things about Japan is also the food. I wanted to have authentic yakisoba and try a variety of dishes that I can’t get anywhere else in the world. Japan is also known for its incredible innovative technology, and I wanted to compare it to the United States first hand.

The most interesting things I did in Japan

I have this clock with a temple embedded in it in my house from 1997 from when my parents were deployed by the military. Every time I looked at it, I was fascinated. Witnessing these sacred and religious temples in person took my breath away. To see the unique architecture, along with being taught the history and meaning of them, is something I will cherish forever.

Another notable commodity that I kept seeing at the temples were dragon statues. As they are portrayed to be symbols of power, authority, wisdom, and nobility, I simply couldn’t help but to be fascinated by them. I thought they were the coolest thing of this whole trip.  

On a night after we finished our required outing, five of us decided to meet with Manaka Sato, a student at Rikkyo University, to eat and shop at Shibuya. The energy roared and the light electrified the entire city. The atmosphere was so lively and different than what I have become accustomed to in the States. Having Manaka as a guide really helped because we probably would’ve gotten lost if it wasn’t for her. She made us feel like we were supposed to be there and was a great addition to our small group outing.

After every long day, almost everyone in the Japan group roamed the streets to have dinner together. We got to know each other better on these walks, have some laughs, make unforgettable memories and fill our stomachs with delicious authentic Japanese cuisine. It seemed as if we’ve known each other for years; easily talking to one another for hours on end. I was truly blessed to have such an amazing group of people to share my time with.

What I learned academically and personally

From an academic perspective I learned more about time management, filming while on the go, precise journalism, Japanese history, language and culture. The trip has really broadened my knowledge and understanding of the world around me. The meetings with the three different news companies gave me perspective on what to strive for while in college and to make connections. Connections seemed to be the driving force of how to get a good job. It is because if I am actively working on a project, it shows that I have drive and am willing to do what is needed. I am bound to make some sort of connections with people that might be trying to do something similar as me, which will help in the long run with a favor.

Personally, the trip made me learn to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. All of us are just trying to do our best in anything we do, and there is beauty in that. If I had kept to myself and not try new things or get to know the people I shared this experience with, I wouldn’t have made long-term friendships and memories that will cheer me up when I’m down. There are people around me that could use me as well. It is selfish to be closed off even if I think people would be better off without me.

How do I think this trip might impact my collegiate career and professional career?

For my collegiate career, this trip to Japan helps me stand out to potential employers or graduate schools by demonstrating that I have a global perspective and am willing to step out of my comfort zone. It could help develop language skills or cultural competencies that could be valuable in a variety of fields.

Professionally, this trip gave me an inside look at what employers look for within a person applying to a news companies. I have made connections with the businesses and was even printed in a special edition of its newspaper! Additionally, it shows that I am adaptable to new environments and am still able to work while still getting acclimated to everything that I am not used to.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *