Cultural Adjustment, Language Learning, Living Abroad, Student Life Abroad, Traveling, University Abroad

Studying Abroad: the Ups, the Downs, and Finally Feeling “At home”! (Part 2 of a 4 part series)

July 14, 2016

Part 2: “I think I’m getting the hang of this place – I don’t feel like a “fish out of water” anymore!”

Several weeks into my academic year program and I still feel a sense of urgency to return to my family and friends. But I also am feeling a greater desire to stay in Japan for a bit longer. Suddenly, things like the tiny aisles in stores – that seem to only accommodate the width of a single person, don’t bother me so much anymore. And speaking primarily in Japanese to strangers in public no longer makes me a nervous wreck or turn me into a “worrywart” about saying the “wrong thing”.  I have even come to realize and accept that no what store I shop at, there really is no such thing as a “SALE” (unless you really call 10-20% a “great” sale)! Rather than feeling huffy, I look for alternatives like second hand shops for clothes instead of mainstream stores, and also mom-and-pop shops instead of generic grocery stores.

This cute happy face "addition" was my reward for being enthusiastic and talking to the Thai restaurant owners in Japanese at the place near my school.

Adding a cute happy face was my reward for being enthusiastic and constantly talking to the Thai restaurant owners in Japanese (there’s a Thai restaurant near my university).

no longer feel depressed and terribly anxious wanting to take the next plane back to California. In fact, life in Tokyo is starting to feel normal– almost to the point that it is a little bit boring.  I am cognizant that because I haven’t lived even a full year in Japan, there will be new encounters and problems that I may not be fully prepared for. However, I finally KNOW that I have the mental, physical, and psychological ability to overcome these challenges

Kyoto area floor plate

Don’t let challenges like language barriers stop you from exploring in your country! Did you know that people in Kyoto speak a dialect different from people in Tokyo? People from Tokyo speak “kanto-ben” and those in Kyoto speak “kansai-ben.”


End of Part 2

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