Last summer, Lance traveled to Japan to study abroad at Aoyama Gakuin University during the summer of 2015. Now that he's returned, he reminisces about the time that he's had.
Going abroad was kind of like an extended vacation that gave me the privilege to interact and delve into the Japan’s college school life. However, now that the study abroad is over and I have already returned home. There are many things that I used to be accustomed to that have now become surreal. Though as the days go by and I slowly go back to adapting to the US again I have realized that there are things that I missed and didn’t miss about the US.
Upon returning home the top things that bothered me the most about being back was getting my allergies back, the jet lag, the lack of reliable public transportation, the reentry paperwork, and the school registration for classes. On the other hand, being home has its enjoyable factors as well. Such things would include being with family, seeing my dog, meeting up with old friends, much cooler climate, and the food that I have missed. Though on that topic these are some of the things I will miss about being in Japan. The food, friends that I made, the clubs I joined, the ability to go anywhere without driving, and the relaxed days full of free time. As a result of these likes there were quite a few dislikes the surface as time went by in Japan. The biggest one by far was the self-entitlement of the older female population in Japan. The rest are pretty minor like some obvious gaijin (foreigner) traps, random earthquakes, random train delays, and lastly the lack of ability to use credit cards. Although this may be because being from America I have become completely accustom to using cards for everything. Finally my biggest challenge coming back would be just getting acclimated to the US and its time zone.
In closing I wanted to write about things I definitely do not want to forget:
1. What made me laugh out loud: Friends in Shibuya
2. What brought tears to my eyes: Getting hit in the head during kendo practice with no head gear
3. My greatest personal insight: Japanese mannerisms and boundaries
4. My biggest cultural faux pas: meeting a student that I thought can speak English but was actually a Japanese student
5. My biggest cultural success: Meeting a friend at the start and the end of my study abroad and learning how much better my Japanese has gotten.