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University of Missouri

Tokyo life: My study abroad experience

Filed in Blog, Japan by on May 9, 2018
by Noah B.

My name is Noah and I’m studying abroad at Sophia University in the wonderful city of Tokyo this spring semester! Just a little over a month ago I was in the United States living the comfortable and familiar life that I’ve always known since I was a kid. But now, I’m in Japan having the time of my life.

Japan life basically boils down to two extremes: 1) Work hard. 2) Play hard. As many people know, hard work is a virtue in Japan with many adults working overtime and many students taking cram courses and studying rigorously for college entrance exams. On the other hand, on the time that you have off, you can do anything — and I mean literally anything you want in Tokyo. You can go to Shinjuku and go to an all-you-can-eat/drink izakaya (Japanese pub), you can go to Akihabara and play the latest and greatest games in Electric Town, you can go to Shibuya and shop, or go to Roppongi and go out clubbing until 5 in the morning.

My schedule is jam-packed with Intensive Japanese courses, the Tennis Club meeting twice a week and exploring new places every week. It’s a busy but rewarding and exciting life here in Tokyo. I am already friends with many international students at Mizzou, but after experiencing what they experience, I have a newfound respect for the students that come to the United States and adapt to a new culture.

The Mizzou study abroad programs make it as easy as possible to sign you up for a variety of different countries and programs that suit your needs. However, after that, one needs to have the attitude to adapt to a different culture. For example, everyday tasks such as ordering a coffee, going to the grocery store or shopping for new clothes becomes a challenge if the language and culture is new to you.

In my experience, if you are really trying to adapt to the culture and use the language, the local Japanese people will be very willing to help you and you will find it very easy to connect with people here. Studying abroad is an adventure and an amazing experience, but it takes hard work and commitment, as well. As a result of challenging myself, I’ve made countless great friends already. And I hope to keep making many more! I’m organizing a photo album with highlights from my trip — I’ll include pictures for this update!

Japan life_album page 1
Japan life_alumb page 2
Japan life_album page 3

About the blogger

Noah B. is studying abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan.

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