Journals from Kanto Gakuin University, Japan
2013-09-24 KGU Update!
Life in Japan continues to shower us with culture and camaraderie. Their buddy program is impressive beyond belief. Most of the student volunteers have started classes by now, but they all continue to make a concerted effort to spend time with us as we continue to adjust to Yokohama.
Entering our third week of classes, I think everyone is getting into the swing of things. The schedule is still a bit of a struggle sometimes--one class a day for about 4 hours. Just a little different from Linfield. Luckily last Monday we had a national holiday, Tuesday brought a field trip to the Edo-Tokyo History Museum and the historical Asakusa district. On Thursday we had yet another field trip to the Nissan car factory, where Nick accidentally forgot his glasses, but we retrieved them just fine the next day.
Tomorrow the buddies are taking us into Tokyo again--Harajuku and Akihabara districts. Most people have also found time to spend with Japanese friends in the area that they knew from Linfield previously or have met while here. We also had lunch with our host families last weekend and are all pretty excited to move in with them in a week!
The scariest thing so far has been the interview for KGU's scholarship that we all applied for. Very nerve-wracking, and the set up was a lot more formal than anything I've experienced in America; we sat in a single chair at least five feet away from the interviewer's table, answering questions in Japanese from two faculty at the school whom none of us had met before. Luckily, we were able to make friends with two of the Chinese exchange students from our dorm who had been interviewing at the same time.
Now that the buddies have more academic responsibilities, we've been branching out by ourselves a little bit. We took the train back from Tokyo all by ourselves--Eguchi-san put us on the right line--and fell asleep. We only missed one stop, and managed to get back with only a five minute delay. Getting the hang of the train system, yay! We've all been grocery shopping and cooking a bit, as the dorm doesn't provide meals on Sunday, and while the grocery store was a little overwhelming at first, the buddies helped us find whatever we needed, so now going back by ourselves is no problem. And it's only a ten minute walk! Definitely getting very good at walking here.
No major mishaps to report. There was a typhoon last Monday, but we all stayed inside and ate, napped, or studied. Pretty relaxing, actually. And apparently there was another small earthquake on Wednesday night, but we all slept through it and didn't notice.
I'll be sure to include information about our acclimatizing to the home stay in the next update. Hope all is well at Linfield!