Predeparture Thoughts

Anh Nguyen
January 2, 2014

Hello there!

My name is Anh and I will be your writing and photography blogger this Spring. よろしくおねがいします!

As the start date approaches, I am scraping together the last bits of my travel ensemble. At this point it is hard to feel the same excitement as I did when learning of my acceptance or my housing assignment: I am too nervous about making sure all preparations (planning out things to bring with me, writing down emergency numbers etc.) are just right to be dreaming about what I would do in Japan. Part of my stress came from sorting out mail and late clothing orders during a time when store hours are so irregular, as well as the occasional nightmarish vision of horribly failing the placement test and repeating first-year Japanese (I could not take Japanese last semester because of schedule conflicts). All of those things won’t matter eventually, though — I will be in Japan in just a few days after all!

While doing research on Nagoya, I stumbled across this incredibly useful website: It has information on a vast number of topics relating to Japan in general and Nagoya in particular. I especially enjoyed the “Events” section, which is listed by month and regularly updated. I hope to get from the list some ideas for weekend adventures around my host city. (Actually, writing this blog post and thinking about the website and about all the things I could do in Nagoya have made me excited again!)

You might be able to tell already from my blog post that I am very much of an over-worrying and over-planning type: I would never start something if I was not ready for it. While it is true that these traits have been advantageous, one of the my reasons for studying abroad in Japan is to learn to work without them: I want to throw myself into an environment where I would have to be more active than ever to get what I want. I know that going to Japan with only a few semesters of Japanese language study will not afford me the same level of confidence that English does, and will frequently force me out of my comfort zone during my daily life there. I want that to happen, because I would like to be able to deal with not being ready. Opportunities would come for me to, not only to adapt to an even stranger environment, but also to learn to work with my shortcomings and be more open about my weaknesses.

If you have made it this far, thanks for reading! To finish off my long ramble, below are some photos of what I have been up to in the past week.

Anh Nguyen

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Anh hailed from Hanoi, Vietnam and is currently a sophomore at Haverford College, Pennsylvania. She plans to major in Computer Science, but decided to take a non-CompSci semester abroad before coming back to it in her junior year (after all, when else will she get the chance?). In her free time she enjoys reading, exploring new places and new types of food, people-watching, as well as reading food blogs, planning to make every single dish that catches her eye, and then completely forgetting about them. She is as excited to blog about her journey as she is about her Spring semester in Nagoya!</span></div>

2014 Spring
Home University:
Haverford College
Computer Science
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