Monday, January 7, 2013

Why Study Abroad?

Why study abroad?

I'm interested in studying in a different country because it is a full of cultural experiences that just don't compare to what I would experience from textbooks. You can read a page about one person that lives opposite side of the world, but you can't experience how it is without being there. 

Why Japan?

It all started at the end of my eighth grade year. This high school teacher came into my school and was offering an after school program to learn Japanese. It sparked my interests right way. It was only offered for a short amount of time, but that's all it took to find the language I would fall in love with. As soon as I hit high school, I didn't hesitate to sign up to take the Japanese 1 course as my foreign language. I thought it would be a simple "learn the language and only use it to talk to my friends," but I soon discovered that just learning the language wasn't enough. I wanted the culture, the experience. Right then and there, I decided I would study abroad in Japan. I've taken every step I could to prepare myself for this journey. I studied hard and got top scores in my class. I did all the little things I could to help develop my language skills: I student aided for my Japanese teacher during my study hall, I immediately joined the Japanese Club my teacher ran after school a few times a month, and even attended the Japanese Olympiad even though I was unable to compete at the time (I was a first year in the language, and only second years and above could compete.) I even tried to befriend the Japanese exchange student who was in my English class. I surrounded myself with the language and as much cultural knowledge I could. Freshmen year passed, and soon I found myself as a sophomore still striving for my dream. I continued to learn the language and culture. Soon, I found myself becoming the Vice President for Japanese Club and competing in Japanese Olympiad. My team ended up coming in second over all in our division. Time passed quickly and now I've reached my junior year of high school. I've taken all the steps I could to get where I am now. And now all that's left is it to raise the money to go. 

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