Upon arrival, I was exhausted and excited, but I was also kind of afraid. Being the only person from my university who was participating in this program, I was embarking on this journey completely by myself. I knew no one when I arrived in Nagoya, but that soon changed very quickly.
IES orientation was held in Inuyama (north of Nagoya), where I got share a Japanese style tatami room with 3 others, but little time was actually spent inside the room. The evening we arrived, I got to dance at Bon Odori and experience a bit of what a Japanese summer festival might be like. Throughout the next couple of days, we took tour of Inuyama castle, saw Japanese puppets at the Bunraku Museum, drank green tea at the Urakuen (Joan Tea Ceremony House) and saw Ukai (cormorant fishing) after a lovely dinner on the water. It was a nice start to getting to know Japan.
After returning to Nagoya, Nanzan University orientation began. Nanzan orientation was a bit of an overkill (like 5 whole days of overkill) but every additional day got me more and more use to my commute and my new university. It also gave me the opportunity to make new friends and meet people from all over the world.
Although I am very thankful to be a part of such a tight knit IES group and the international CJS community at Nanzan, I am eager to start classes, join clubs and meet other Japanese students. My first week in Japan has already been one huge adventure and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester has in store for me.
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<p>Hi, my name is Ashley Bell and I am a Junior Political Science major at Santa Clara University. I'll be spending my spring semester in Nagoya, Japan and am very excited to share my experiences with you. I hope you enjoy seeing Japan through my eyes!</p>