Study Abroad Advice from IES Abroad Ambassador of the Month Emily Wu: How to Make the Most of Studying Abroad

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Meet Emily Wu, our December 2016 IES Abroad Ambassador of the Month! Read on as Emily opens up about her favorite parts of study abroad, and reflects on the importance of appreciating every moment of the study abroad experience.

Emily is a junior at Brandeis University where she majors in Psychology. She is the Artistic Director of Brandeis’ first hip-hop crew, and is the Executive Director of Brandeis' Diversity Conference. Emily also volunteers with a first grade ESL class, and interns at REACH Against Domestic Violence, all while also serving as an IES Abroad Ambassador! She spent Summer 2015 on the IES Abroad Nagoya Summer – Language & Culture Program.

IES Abroad: Why IES Abroad?

EW: I chose the IES Abroad Nagoya Summer Program because of its unique offerings. Unlike many other direct enrollment programs, IES Abroad makes a sincere effort to facilitate the initial adjustment to the city with an orientation. They also provide all kinds of support, such as the amazing Center staff—Satoshi Tsukamoto and Masae Asakura—and extremely entertaining and educational field trips. Not only do they provide special field trips, useful city knowledge, and experiences like a traditional Japanese meal, IES Abroad also places us in an international dorm with local Japanese students, which contributes to our overall immersion in Nagoya.

IES Abroad: How did you meet local students abroad?

EW: The amazing part about the IES Abroad Nagoya Summer Program is the housing. We were all placed in the same dorms as local residents. The dorms put on events where we would socialize, cook, and eat together. Not only that, but we were accompanied by Japanese students from the university’s British and American Studies Department on all field trips around Nagoya. Nanzan also provided a language room where students could ask faculty and students questions in Japanese for help with homework or anything else. Because of all these opportunities to interact with local Japanese students, many of us became good friends and still keep in touch today.

IES Abroad: If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing before studying abroad, what would it be?

EW: I would tell myself to really treasure all the moments, even the most mundane ones, during my time abroad. IES Abroad provides a seamless transition for living in Nagoya, so it becomes easy to get comfortable. Before you know it, the six weeks are up. You should treasure moments, such as when friends all do homework together or sit on the subway laughing about the Taiko (drum) performance you just saw, and not just times when everyone went to tourist attractions. Every moment will be unique during your time abroad and you should take the time to really appreciate it all.

Thank you, Emily!

Want to learn more about our study abroad programs in Nagoya? Click here.

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