It’s finally here: the day I leave for a year in Japan. Despite this whole long summer preparing I’m still not quite sure it’s real, but since I’ve started to get nervous I guess the penny must be about to drop.
My flight from Edinburgh takes me to Tokyo via Istanbul, but the place I’m eventually going to end up is Kwansei Gakuin (KGU for short), a university located between Osaka and Kobe in the Kansai region of Japan. Nishinomiya is home not only to my exchange university, but also to the family with whom I’ll be staying for the best part of the coming year. Although I had the option to live in a dorm (like the rest of my classmates), I decided to opt for a homestay in the hope that it will push me to immerse myself in the Japanese language and to learn as much as possible about Japan during my exchange. I’ll be meeting my host family for the first time on the 13th, fresh off a 7 hour bus ride from Tokyo. Hopefully the four nights I have in Tokyo before leaving for Kansai should mean that I’m not completely exhausted and at least able to make a good first impression.
Although I am a bit nervous about things like getting back into speaking Japanese, I’m also really glad to have had quite a relaxing summer in preparation for the intensive study that awaits me. This last weekend, in which I’ve spent time with friends and family, has felt like a really nice way to say a temporary goodbye to my life in Edinburgh and at home in East Lothian. Hopefully my resulting exhaustion will help me get over jetlag by just being able to sleep when I’m told! Either way, I can’t wait to see my friends in Tokyo and to then travel to Nishinomiya to start my new life as an exchange student. If all goes well, I might even find time to update this blog fairly regularly! Fingers crossed…
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