It is absolutely mind-blowing that we are going to go home soon. We have constantly been busy and on the move, it made time fly by so quickly!
After our homestay, it was all downhill, as everyone started looking forward to and preparing for finals, presentations, and the Perspectives on Japan presentation that was worth a whole credit. Through everyone’s topics (including children’s music, Pachinko, themed cafes, and others), we all got to learn even more about Japan’s fascinating culture. Finals in Japan ended up being unfortunately similar to finals back home – stressful – but hey, sometimes we need wake-up calls that we are going to school just like we would be back home, just in a different country! The fact that we were all able to work together to help each other out and push through was really nice. In the end, we survived the finals and presentations.
Yesterday we had our farewell party with the buddies, host families, and members of the International Center. It was so bittersweet to be with all of our close friends that we have made along our journey here in Japan, and have to deliver our “thank you” speeches. It’s so surreal! I’m not going to lie, I definitely cried while I was giving my speech, and although it was embarrassing, it was too hard to contain my emotion since I had so much of it that night. The International Center here has been so extremely helpful in absolutely everything – if any of us came in with any type of question (from “is there a stapler we can use?” to “how can I get a package sent home to America?”) they were willing to provide quick and helpful responses; if it hadn't been for the International Center we would have struggled so much more, but they did everything they could to be sure we had an uncomplicated study abroad experience. For future students who plan on studying here, be very nice to the International Center, drop in and say hi, and be sure to thank them for everything they do, because they work so hard!!
Tomorrow we will all be going to the school for the very last time to take our Japanese Language Proficiency Test, the big test that we have all been preparing for. Once we finish that, we have a week to meet with our friends and host families for the last time and do the last things (like eat at Shinanoya’s!!) we had planned on doing. Then it’s a 17-hour flight back to America!!
Japan has been, hands down, one of the best and most exciting experiences in my lifetime. I was so blessed to be part of such a strong, wonderful program. I believe this experience has made me much stronger as a person and student in general, and I although I am really looking forward to going home, I am going to miss all the friends I have made here!