Predeparture Feels

Tina Nguyen
March 17, 2017


With only less than 10 days left before my flight, I’m starting to feel the pressure of packing and final exams. I still can’t believe it is actually happening. I feel that realization won’t hit me until I am actually on the plane itself! I am not nervous about travelling to Japan but rather excited even though it is my first time flying on an airplane. Unfortunately, I have final exams during orientation time so I will be arriving late and missing the meeting. Although a bit disappointed on missing out in meeting fellow classmates and e-pal partners, I’m still really thankful that I was allowed to arrive late! Now, with only a few days left before the departure, I have yet to begin packing and studying!

As I think back to the past few months, I never had the idea of studying abroad. I knew that I wanted to do it but I didn’t think I would have the time to fit it into my schedule, so I never thought much of it. Then, one day, one of my international friends’ stories of her adventures and experiences inspired me to apply. It was fascinating how studying abroad can shape the way you view life and I wanted to experience it! I didn’t know where I wanted to go or how I would get my parents’ approval. I thought of all the places that fascinated me and Japan was at the top of my list. I love the culture, the food, the people, and the language! It is also known as being one of the safest country so I knew I could convince my parents with the idea of having an international education. Through much effort and hardwork, I am finally going abroad!!!

Packing has been quite difficult for me since I also have to focus on studying for final exams. However, through much research from reading online articles and watching vlogs, I have realized there were a few things that I should buy here rather than in Japan. I hope this list is helpful for those who are considering what to bring to Japan!


The first and I believe number one thing to buy is deodorant. Japanese bodies are rather different from ours in that they don’t need strong deodorant. So, if you are planning to buy deodorant in Japan, it might be a bit hard to find the kind you are used to using as theirs are on the weaker side.

2.Portable Chargers

I am obsessed with portable chargers! They are so easy to carry around and extremely convenient to have! I have really, really bad sense of direction and I’m pretty sure I will be using google maps all the time as well as taking pictures and videos of Japan! With all of that cell phone use, it is inevitable that my battery will die quickly. However, I can charge my phone on the go with a portable charger! Just be sure to charge it beforehand; otherwise, there is no point in having one with you.


Japan is mostly a cash-based society so it is highly recommended to have cash on hand as most places may not take debit/credit cards.

4. Walking shoes

This is incredibly important as there will be tons of walking in Japan! I received my dorm placement and calculated the distance it would take to get to school. To my surprise, the total amount of walking it takes to arrive at school is about 40 minutes with 20 minutes by train! I don’t know about you but I am the most unathletic person you can meet. I haven’t really exercised since 10th grade of high school! Yep, I know what you’re thinking. That’s pretty bad. But, astonishingly, I am excited to be walking to school in Japan! I am ready to experience rush hour on trains, potentially making friends during my walks, and enjoying the scenery.

Until next time :)


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Tina Nguyen

<p>Hi everyone! I&rsquo;m Tina and I&rsquo;m from California, majoring in computer science at the University of California, Irvine. I&rsquo;ve never travelled to a different country before so I hope to see where the journey takes me and hope you guys can experience it through my writings! I love learning about new cultures, trying out new foods, and traveling. I&rsquo;m, more or less, ready to get and feel lost!</p>

2017 Spring
Home University:
University of California - Irvine
Computer Science
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