Studying in Japan was the best thing I have done. From the friends I met to learning the language and exploring regions of Japan, I do not regret one thing I did. The experience was extremely worthwhile. It's not the same as travelling to Japan on vacation. I get to live with Japanese students and working professionals, experiencing their way of life, going to school with college students, and so much more. This is not something I would be able to experience if I had just come for a short break. Sure, it was expensive and I was worried on how to afford it, but I saved money from my part time job and there were many scholarships that I applied for. Yes, they were highly competitive but it doesn't hurt to apply. I applied everywhere I could because I really wanted to go to Japan.
Two of the most famous scholarships are the Bridging Scholarship and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. I highly recommend looking these scholarships up and try applying for them. The Bridging Scholarship is highly competitive and you need a recommendation for it as well as a personal essay. They give out around 100 scholarships to students who are intending to study in Japan. The Benjamin Gilman Scholarship awards around 2,900 scholarships to students going abroad. What's more is that if the area of study is a critical language, which Japanese is, you can be qualified to receive more money, but the critical language award is highly competitive and not everyone gets it. The scholarship requires a personal essay, as well as a follow-on service project. This project can be anything from writing blogs to hosting presentations to local students as long as it encourages an international education. If you are serious or just a little bit interesting in studying abroad, Japan or anywhere else for that matter, I seriously recommend looking these scholarships up. They were really helpful in helping me fund for my program and I am sure I wouldn't have been able to go if I hadn't applied.
So I guess the most common question is why did I want to go to Japan specifically? Was I interested in anime that fostered my decision to choose Japan? What was it? Honestly, I chose Japan for its people, its society, and most of all for its language. I love the way the language sounds and the way it is written. The people are honestly one of the most polite and kindest people I have ever met. Every single one of them. Well, there may be some exceptions, but really you could drop your wallet or umbrella on the ground and they would be running after you to give it back. No matter how fast or how far they will make sure to give it back to you or to the police. They are the sweetest and most welcoming people I have met and I don't wish to part with them. The society is known to be one of the safest in the world which was one of the reasons my parents gave me permission to go abroad. There are many considerations in deciding what country to study in and I believe safety should be one of the top ones. I am glad of its society because I was able to explore many areas of Japan without feeling worried for my life. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't be careful though! Overall, Japan has been so great to me and I am sure I will be back again!