You are here

Back in the Lou -- The Great Return from Japan

1 Jan 2018

It's been a couple weeks since I've been back in the US, in my home city St. Louis, MO. Although it felt effortless to adjust to the holiday season with family, I've been feeling like a part of me is missing ever since I've left Japan.

Not only did I have incredible life-changing experiences while abroad, I made quality friendships while abroad, many sparked by IES Abroad and dozens more across the school I attended for a semester. 

I keep coming across the many things I acquired while abroad -- my commuter pass, yen in coins, keychains -- and feeling as if they are fragments of a dream I can't completely recall. Will it feel like this forever? Does a measely 6 months in a different environment really affect someone so much? Why do I feel heartbroken to be away from a country that wouldn't call me theirs?

Despite these heart-wretching thoughts, I am happy to be able to catch up with friends and spend time with my family and my dog. Unfortunately, I leave for school tomorrow morning...


"Why, hello there!" says an ice-sculptured snowman.



My little sister and our friend before some downtown ice-skating.


The Old Courthouse nesting under the St. Louis Arch.


My brother enjoying a sundae at The Fountain on Locust.


Though it was a short time seeing family and friends, it was nice to share the highlights of my experience abroad with people who missed me. Now, I'm off to write another chapter of my story...

またね! (See you later!)

From Our Blogs

Apr 18 9:19pm

From International Internship in Italy to Pursuing Public Health

by Shaina Moran

IES Internships alumna Michelle Wagner (Rome Summer Internship 2015 | Penn State University) wears many hats: graduate student, world traveler, public health enthusiast, and blogger, to name a few. In a previous role as an IES intern in Rome, Michelle participated in hands-on work, came face-to-face with social issues, gained a professional mentor, and paved her path to graduate school. Read on Michelle explains her international internship in Italy.

Learn more
Apr 17 5:23pm

A Day in My Life in Granada (As Told by Michael Scott)

by Emily

Here's what Michael from The Office would have a to say about a day in my life in Granada!

Learn more
Apr 17 1:41pm

The Power of Advocacy: Mobilizing the Study Abroad Community

by Hernando Sevilla-Garcia

After being awarded a 2018 NAFSA Advocacy Day Grant from the International Educators of Illinois, I had the privilege to spend March 19-20 on C

Learn more
Apr 16 11:33am

A Trip to Marseille

by Brooklyn

Before I went to Marseille, I didn’t know much about it. Truth be told, there’s still a lot I could learn. However, the huge takeaway from our Marseille excursion was that it was founded by immigrants. This thought touched me as I compared the city to the United States and its own founding.

Learn more
Apr 15 3:31am

How to Study while Abroad

by Margaret

I looked up with horror on the first Friday I was here and realized I had spent the entire week studying. 

Learn more