I can’t believe that I’ve been living in Japan for five months already! Things here for me are so normal and I feel so at home that I don’t really pay attention to time passing. At the moment I’m on Spring Break and my first semester finished around the 2nd week of February. I am relieved to be on break since the end of the semester work was slightly challenging. The only problem I’ve been facing lately is quite honestly, boredom.
All of the international students that live in my building feel the same way, for the most part. We try to organize parties every now and then with Japanese students, and go out with Japanese students, but recently things have been quiet. Since I’ll be out of classes for about 2 months, I figured this would be the perfect time to travel. Many of the other students in the International House have the same idea, so at the moment it’s quiet in my building. Some students returned home for good, others just for the vacation, and some are traveling around Japan and other countries in Asia.
I was fortunate enough to go to Korea last weekend for my birthday. I had a blast! While I was back in SUNY New Paltz I was good friends with a Korean student named Yun Hee, who was at the time an international student at SUNY New Paltz. Before she returned to Korea I promised her that some time in the future I would visit her, and to her surprise I did! She was so happy to take care of me for 4 days, as I don’t speak any Korean (YET!).
The first day I stayed at her home in Cheonan, and her family were extremely kind to be, considering they didn’t speak a word of English. Her mom was a fantastic cook and I am utterly in love with Korean food. The next 3 days Yun Hee and I went to Seoul, only 40 minutes away by subway, and we stayed at a youth hostel. As we walked around sightseeing and shopping in Seoul, Yun Hee translated everything that was going on around me into English. Her English is really good and I was so relieved to be in her company. Although she became sick for some time during my trip, my birthday was still a lot of fun. I plan on visiting her again in the future if I can!
This weekend I’m going to Osaka with three other international students, then doing some sightseeing in Kyoto since it’s very close to Osaka. Hopefully I can do much more traveling during this break!