My Summer in Sapporo


This summer I travelled to Japan and attended a Japanese language school for four weeks. I have been learning the language for over 3 years now as a hobby and wanted to be able to improve my language skills in a more formal setting and interact with native speakers. One reason I chose Sapporo (Hokkaido, Northern Japan) was the weather – it is a lot cooler in the summer there compared to the Honshu island, where Tokyo and Kyoto are located, and I was right the weather was lovely. I also chose Sapporo because I didn’t know much about it and felt that this was the perfect opportunity to learn more about the major city of Hokkaido.

Sapporo TV Tower.

 

This was my first time visiting Japan and I was going alone, so I was nervous. I suffer with a little bit of travel sickness and that mixed with nerves made the 16 hour flight difficult. But once on the ground, I felt a lot better. I was staying in a shared house with a lot of kind people and the school that I attended had a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere. On my first day at the school there was a welcome lunch so that the other new students and I could get to know each other and other people at the school. The main classes were from 9:30 till 12:20 every weekday and had at maximum 8 students in them so they felt very comfortable and focused. I was placed in an intermediate class so it was challenging but felt appropriate for my level. I also had private 1:1 lessons 3 times a week which let me focus on my speaking skills, an area I was really trying to improve during my time in japan.

My Classmates and I with our teacher Yuki-Sensei.

My graduation from the school.

Before going to Japan, I was embarrassed to speak Japanese since I never had anyone to speak it with but thanks to the supportive environment of the school I have become a lot more confident in my Japanese abilities. The school also offered a lot of different cultural experiences and activities. One of my favourite activities I took part in was the trip to Niseko where we went white water rafting. I had never done rafting before and despite the water being cold it was really fun!

Rafting in Niseko.

 

From this experience abroad, my Japanese language skills improved a lot along with my confidence. My four weeks in Sapporo passed by so quickly and I began to miss it as soon as I left. I got to experience a different culture and make lifelong friends. I would really love to return to Japan some time soon, the only thing stopping me is the 16 hour flight!

Categories: JapanTags: ,

2 comments

    • Yes! I walked through Odori Park and Tanukikoji (the main shopping street) every day to get to school. Mt Mowa and the top of JR tower had great views of the city 🙂

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