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maandag 10 december 2012

Life in Japan

Hello there again.

Tonight I felt like sharing a bit about my life in Japan with you. I thought you might be interested in it, so here goes.

I've been living in Japan since the end of August, 2012. In order to graduate from my current university, I need to attend a university or language school in the country of the language of my course, which for me means I got to go to Japan. Sadly, I was at first told I wasn't able to go to the university and only after I decided on which language school I wanted to go to the teacher told me I had actually been able to go to a university after all. But by then I had already settled on going to a language school. Some may call me crazy, but it has its advantages.

The language school I choose to attend is located in Sendai city, and yes with this I mean the same Sendai city that was hit during the earthquake of March 2011. However, life continuous like it does everywhere else in the world and the Japanese are strong and quick in fixing things like damage done by an earthquake. Unless I ask people about it, I see or notice nothing that indicates there has been a disaster at all.

Life in Sendai is a lot of fun. Though the Japanese call it a small city, if they even call it that, it is the biggest city in the Tohoku district, and I personally love this city. If I had chosen to go to the university, which is located in Matsumoto, I would not have been able to see as much of the city life as I am able to do now. The people here are quite used to foreigners, which is the only result of the earthquake I do notice, and they are nice and helpful. And for me most importantly, they have a decent sized shopping district here! Almost all the brands and shops I love are here.

Studying at the Sendai Language School (SLS for short) also has it's advantages. Though I do miss the contact with native Japanese besides my teachers, the only class I have is Japanese, from 1.30 to 5.50 in the afternoon. The rest of the time I spend either studying what I learned, reading books, looking around Sendai or whatever I feel like doing. I do however spend most of my time trying to up my Japanese.
At the beginning of this December month I took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (Called JLPT for short). Because of my lacking knowledge in Kanji (Chinese characters in the Japanese written language) I was unable to take the Level 2 like I wanted to, and had to settle for Level 3. On the bright side, I am almost sure I passed it, or else I'd feel really dumb.

I love walking around in Sendai City. Though some might not find it all that amazing, I love watching the lights of the buildings and skyscrapers when I'm walking around. And there is of course my beloved shopping district. The shopping district is made up from 2 long streets that cross each other, both having a roof so I can go shopping on rainy days as well! I have to admit that my budget doesn't allow me to do a lot of shopping, but I do take my time looking at the people that I encounter when walking around there and trying to figure out how they did their styling.

I do really start missing The Netherlands a lot, though. With Sinterklaas just behind us and Christmas coming up, I miss being surrounded by the people I consider to be my friends and my family. I don't want to leave Japan just yet, but I'm looking forward to going home and being able to do my own things again. Japan is a lovely country, but it is at times like these you learn how to appreciate your own country, as well.

Being in Japan is teaching me a lot about myself, my goals and the people around me. It gives me a fresh view on a lot of things, views I don't think I would have had if I had not gone to Japan.

If you ever have the chance to go to an other country, please do. It's an amazing experience, no matter how scary it is. It really does teaches you so much you wouldn't be able to learn in your own country. I hope that everybody will have this chance to learn at some point of there lives.
Or maybe you've already been to a different country? How was your experience? Do you regret it? Or do you wish you could have stayed a lot longer?

And that's it for now.
Thank you.

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