The morning I left, I sent a text message to my host mum telling her about the fun I had in Kyoto and Tokyo and how, when I come back, we’ll eat lots of cake and have fun together again.
Studying in Japan was a dream come true, and something that used to be a figment of my imagination. I came to college determined to study abroad for a variety of personal, rather than academic, reasons. At the very end of this adventure, I grew up in the most personal aspect of my life. I don’t think it’s something that my friends or family will see, but just something that I alone will realize and that is good enough.
During my last few days in Nagasaki, a friend’s host dad who also attended the university had apparently told my friend that my Japanese had really improved. I think that I can do a lot better, but it’s extremely encouraging to hear. I can only hope that the next time I come to Nagasaki, I’ll be able to really speak to all of the people I’ve met here. The next time I hope to be back here, a lot of my friends in the JASIN program will have left, but I hope to see some of my Japanese friends.
I spoke to a student in the highest level of Japanese offered in our program, as well as a friend who began her study there as an international student but transferred to become a permanent student in the school, and there are so many things that I wasn’t able to learn. It’s sad, but also exciting news that pushes me to want to learn even more. I’m excited to come back to Japan and fill in all the holes that I wasn’t able to fill in this time.