Saying goodbye is always the hardest part, especially when it comes to the people you have become such good friends with throughout the semester. After finishing our last final, everyone celebrated at the Center for Japanese Studies’ farewell party. Although I am coming back to Japan for another semester, there are so many friends who are returning to their home countries and will not be back for spring. For me, I think it is not truly a goodbye, but more of a see you later. To think that I might never see some of these people again seems unfathomable, because together we have so many shared experiences, taken many pictures of places and things we have done together during our time abroad. We are forever ingrained in each other’s memories, and I find it very hard to believe that we won’t continue to be friends. After the party, my friends and I decided to do a couple hours of karaoke. It seemed almost too fitting, especially since we began to semester going out to karaoke almost every week for the first two months. We began and ended the semester by having fun and reflecting upon these last 4 months abroad, remembering and cherishing that fact that we all ended up in the same country at the same time and became the best of friends.
As of now, I have just returned to the USA for the winter holidays and I miss Japan already. I am excited for the next semester, but it will be sad not having as many familiar faces around as before. I do wish everyone the best of luck in all of their endeavors and hope that we all meet again very soon. In regards to IES, I would really like to thank our program coordinators, Satoshi and Masae, for making this semester absolutely amazing. The trips and events we went to were so much fun, and thank you for capturing some of those moments that I didn’t (the photos below).
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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>