This is my first official entry, so I thought I should introduce myself. My name is Danielle and I am a 20 year-old Junior, majoring in Communication with an Asian Studies minor. I can usually be found at Mercyhurst College but this semester I am here studying abroad at Temple University Japan! I hope this blog will give some great insight to those interested in studying abroad with TUJ as well as those interested in Japan!
It’s been almost a week since I’ve left the United States and wow, has it been a whirlwind! These past few days have been some of the most exciting in my whole life! I still cannot believe I am here in Tokyo, Japan! Wow! Flying halfway across the world was an interesting and long journey, to say the least. I have never really flown before, and as the woman in the Narita Airport pointed out to me, I sure am a long way from home! From security to immigration to customs, from Chicago to Narita to the Sheraton Miyaoko Hotel, from planes to shuttles to buses and taxis…Phew! It was nice to finally arrive at the always comforting Ontakesan dorm for some much needed rest and relaxation, even with the always dreaded jetlag. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, my body just does not want to sleep when I want it to. But do not worry, slowly, it is wearing off.
Meeting my fellow classmates has been a wonderful experience. With Temple University being one of the most diverse universities in the country, it comes as no surprise that everyone here has an interesting story to share. Before orientation, one of the first things we did as a group to get to know one another and the area was to explore our neighborhood. There are so many tucked-away gems in our little town! One of my favorite places so far has been the fruit and vegetable market. Sandwiched between the two giant grocery stores (one is 3 floors!), the small veggie stand seems to be the most popular. I have never seen apples and oranges the size of small pumpkins, or carrots the size of bricks anywhere in the United States! It is a great and healthy alternative to buying our food from convince stores or the 7-11 just a bit further down the road.
Amongst all of this running around, I have noticed a very big cultural difference: the extent that people will go for others in Japan. For example, it did not matter to Aki, the dorm manager, or Yuki, one of the TUJ students, how heavy or large my suitcases were, they offered to carry them for me every inch of the way. How polite! Or, for instance when the staff of the Narita Limo Bus Company literally ran to hold the bus so it would not leave with out me. On the other hand, I was not so lucky however, many hours before as I fumbled through the Chicago Airport with my 2 large bags, unsure if I would even be able to find my gate.
It has only been a few days but I am truly enjoying my experience here at TUJ and I hope you will enjoy my future blog entries!