Winding Down Time

Well, starting from today I officially have two months left of living in Japan. Truth be told, no matter how much I prepare, the flight back home will not be an easy one. The lessons I have learned while abroad are ones I will never forget, nor will I ever regret ever leaving America for a year just for this opportunity. I left behind a year’s worth of moments in America; however, those moments were replaced with happy memories in Nagoya, Japan. The classes I have taken here has taught me much of people not just from Japan but also countries such as Italy, Finland, South Korea, and Australia. For me, being aware of different personalities other than your own is an important skill to learn while you are still young. While an update on classes would be nice, I will leave that update for another day.

Does anyone else remember this?

By traveling abroad, your story could become a chapter in someone else’s life. Even though I was not here four years ago I still hear stories of old exchange students. This makes me wonder, “What will I leave behind for future exchange students?” What a small world we all live in and in this world we never know when if we will see someone either once or multiple times. Hopefully I can visit my friends in Japan a second time, but the time given to us is one of randomness and full of instability. For those abroad, take your time and make the best out of your trip. I encourage anyone who has a desire or passion for traveling; the process will take both time and money, but the most important factor is how determined you are towards making the most out of your stay in another country.

Throughout my high school career I told myself I would never study abroad, but as you can see, this thought was quickly pushed aside. The first month of college at my university (University of Tennessee – Chattanooga),  I became passionate about learning different cultures all throughout Asia. Through ISEP research, I became more interested in my own country of Vietnam. As a freshman in college, I also went through times of change and regret. My major changed not just once or twice but a third time. In my case, I went from a Pre-Art major to Undecided in just one day. Next, I chose the path of a Pre-Computer Science major my spring semester of freshmen year.  Throughout this time, I was also going through the process of searching for a study abroad program. Incorporating computer science with studying abroad was one of the most complicated times of my freshman year. I was stuck with choices of either graduating on time or pursue another year worth of school.

Sure, I could have crammed all my classes into a semester, but what is the point of doing so if I get nothing but stress as the result?

Education is all about the learning process not how quickly you can graduate. Though it would be quite nice to be the genius in the family who can do so without going crazy. Any who, do the best you can in whatever you choose. If you even have the slightest interest in doing something out of the ordinary, I would take the time by checking out the pros and cons of your decision.

By now you might be thinking I am a random person boasting about her travels. Well, you are partially correct, I do enjoy telling people about the wonderful experiences of traveling; however, I know this is not a choice for everyone. You can choose your own path and the path you choose should be one of your own pursuit of happiness. My main update is one of encouragement. I know very well the next few years of my college career will be harsh, but I will never regret my decision. Work together with your advisor and study abroad advisor and you can make the best out of both worlds. Luckily for me, I was blessed with the friendship of many people here at Chukyo University. The student body, International center, and foreign exchange students made the experience well worth the trip. A few more months until I leave but from the bottom of my heart I want to say, thank you to everyone who has been part of my story.


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