Studying abroad is all about adjusting. Some things are easier to adjust to than others, but it should be expected that you will come across many differences that can be difficult to get use to. I have been living in Japan for about five months now, and with the help of my host family and Japanese language studies, I have adjusted to living within Japan pretty easily. I have gotten use to Japanese cooking, commuting to school every morning and communicating in a new language, but there are still many things that surprise me about life here in Japan. Now that the new semester has started, I am learning that I still have many things that I need to adjust to.
With the new semester, many new students arrived, but many of my friends from the previous semester have also returned to their home countries. It has been kind of difficult getting use to not having all of my friends here with me. This semester is also vacation time for the Japanese students, which means there is a good two months where the CJS students are the only students on campus. It seems like it’s going to be a pretty quiet 4 months. Something else that may cause me problems has been moving up a level in Japanese. I am excited about improving my Japanese, but the class in itself is a large jump above my previous class level. I have also signed up for a Japanese Folklore class that is completely taught in Japanese! I’ve realized that I have a lot more to keep up with compared to last semester. Lastly, Japanese winter is kind of brutal. With no central heating, I find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning for school. My host parents have said February is the coldest month. I say bring it on.
These are just a few of things that I have noticed within the past couple of weeks that are probably going to challenge me this semester. Despite the fact that I am no longer having trouble with cultural differences or food, I still have a lot to adjust to. I have decided that I need to put into a bit more effort to make this semester as worthwhile as possible since there is quite a lot to look forward to. With new friends and new places to visit and explore, I am still very excited for what it will bring. Please treat me well this semester! よろしくおねいがいします！
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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>