Exchange to Japan: Do you have any questions?

Good morning everyone! How have you been?

I have been doing well! A few days ago I returned back to Belgium after 5 months studying abroad at a University in Japan. With my first 11 month exchange experience in tow, I would have altogether lived in Japan for a total of 16 months of my life. Strange if you think about it? Including my adoption at age 1.5, that would be 3 years living in a foreign country. Not that my toddler self remembers anything at all, but doing recreative math can be entertaining like that.

The first time I went it frankly messed me up a lot. My second experience feels like I have been broken down and built up again from scratch. It is not recommended for the sensitive of souls, it is not.

If I had to explain what happened I would probably not be able to rest until I had a few novels worth. A trilogy seems about the right length? It is therefore that the question “How was Japan?” that comes up when I visit family and friends, stumps me so much. I get so overwhelmed by my own thoughts and memories fighting for dominance, that all I end up actually answering is “good” with an apologetic smile towards the listener who was probably expecting one well-versed paragraph to change their lives. It is hard to figure out just how much to say.

I would still like to share some of it with you, even if it were solely to clean up this mess in my control chamber. So I figured that, instead of attempting to condense my 16 month experiences into one inadequate paragraph, I could instead answer questions you might have instead! Maybe you are thinking of going abroad as well, maybe you want to study Japanese, maybe you want to live in Japan or maybe you’re simply curious. Whatever it might be, feel free to ask away and I will do my best to answer!!

Lastly, to finish this post, I would like to share some reading material with you I have been enjoying. It is very unrelated to anything, I just happened to have it in front of me right now, but I quite enjoy this person’s writing and maybe that some of you will find the same amusement in it as I do. It is is a collection of columns by some guy that owns a bird-watching store. His writing is witty, amusing and it reads like a collection of letters written to us. I have been reading his columns for a few years now and though I am by no means a bird watcher, I enjoy and learn from it nonetheless!! General self education? I would not know where to categorise this, but it is a very nice read if you want to relax in between work/studying!!

That would be it for now,

see you hopefully soon again!!

-Anba

 

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