Well, here we are! Sadly, the end of my first and last study abroad semester here at Temple University Japan is upon us. Going home is so bittersweet. There is the joy of finally being able to see my family and friends; of finally being able to understand what everyone around me is saying; of being able to go to a restaurant and actually convey what I want to order. On the other hand, there is the deep sadness of leaving all of the great friends that I have made during my stay here and of leaving a country that has become my second home.
Making the flight to Tokyo feels like just yesterday. It is very easy for me to remember all of the nervousness and anxious energy I had in my stomach the whole way to the Ontakesan dorm. I was so nervous about making new friends in a new country, new school and in a new culture. But I am so beyond glad that I made the journey here.
One of my favorite memories of my time in Japan was definitely going on the Kansai trip. And not just because it was my birthday! The scenery was beautiful, the shrines were impeccable and the food was delicious. It was so interesting to see a different part of Japan than the capital city of Tokyo. While still bustling, it was lovely to see a more traditional and slowed down city like Kyoto or Nara. It was also a great bonding experience amongst friends and fellow TUJ students. I’ll never forget being able to stay in a traditional Japanese tatami-mat room with my friends or feeding the deer in Nara as they chased all of us around. It was unlike anything that I have ever experienced before.
Leaving Japan is going to be very difficult and emotional. I truly dread having to say goodbye to all of my new friends and classmates that I have met here. Everyone is so unique and I feel so lucky to have met them. The nervousness energy that I felt coming here, I can feel again as I am leaving. My study abroad experience with TUJ has been the most amazing experience in my entire life. I met the most kindhearted and interesting professors, I have seen some of the most beautiful places in the world and I have expanded my horizons to an entirely new culture and world. Everyday there was something new to be felt, seen, eaten, or to be experienced. Never a day went by that was not fulfilling or exciting. Thank you Temple University Japan, thank you friends, thank you Japan!