I’ve lived in Japan since I made the jump in 2013. I’ve had the opportunity to live in two different cities while I’ve been here (not including my study abroad in Kansai in 2009). Since I’ve come here, I’ve fallen in love with the island that is Kyushu. So today, I’m thankful a thousand times for this chance!
I’ll be honest, living in another country where English is not the native language has been a challenge. And even though everybody studies English from Junior High School, their communicative skill in English is not very good. Hence the reason why conversation skills are really popular.
But, when you have a challenging situation and you can power through it and be successful in another language it’s way more rewarding. I’ve had plenty of situations where I’ve had to bumble through with my Japanese skills and though I was nervous and scared at first, but when I finished I felt such a sense of accomplishment.
Living abroad has taught me a lot about myself, and a lot about patience and acceptance. We’ve talked a lot about making study abroad mandatory in some of my higher level classes and I truly believe that we should be encouraging more students to study abroad if they can. It helps to make more well-rounded and diverse global citizens. And I think on this global stage and as we continue our slow, seemingly slight descent into the future, we could use more people with level-heads on their shoulders.
Just about 2 years ago I moved to Kumamoto, Japan and I think I’ve finally found a place where I can be comfortable and happy. When I was living in Fukuoka I felt happy, but I always felt like something was missing. Coming to Kumamoto gave me a city full of amazing and accepting people, a wonderful night culture and the most amazing friends. It was a bit strange how I came to be here, one day I’ll address it, but I wouldn’t change this decision for the world.