Visiting Japan in spring is one of my fondest dreams. Studying in Japan would be my second dream dearest to my heart. Becoming an exchange student or a scholar abroad has been an idea that I have toyed with in my college days. Unfortunately, I’m now past the age where I can avail of scholarships in Japan or anywhere else. For those who are still considering where to study abroad, here are some things that just might entice you to take a chance on studies in the land of the rising sun.
In a previous article, I have mentioned why I would love to visit Japan in spring–the sakura or the cherry blossoms. Although a friend told me that I could see cherry blossoms in Washington, I told her that it wasn’t the same as seeing it in Japan. Cherry blossom viewing is popular all over this asian country and what could be more authentic that seeing this flower in its original habitat? Cherry blossoms is one of the things that I’m looking forward to see when my dream trip to Japan becomes a reality. For now, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Japan is a country steeped in tradition. I love how the people always manage to include folklore and culture in Japanese animation or in manga, which is their comics. Aside from the usual academics, you can learn other distinctly Japanese studies like the tea ceremony and ikebana, or the art of flower arrangement. You might even develop an appreciation for kabuki, a classical form of Japanese theatrical entertainment that features an all-male cast. In order to preserve this traditional art form, Kabukiza, a kabuki theater in Ginza, has been revamped and reopened, hoping to breath new life into this old art in order to appeal to a 21st century audience.
One of the perks of studying abroad is learning a new language. Although you can learn through self-study, your knowledge of the Japanese language will be retained much faster if you can constantly practice conversing with someone. If your scholarship in Japan gets approved, it might provide you with a host family to stay with, which will give you the perfect opportunity to work on your fledgling language skills. Studying in Japan will allow you to use the language in everyday conversations, even if you just start with just the basic daily expressions. The more you repeat them, the more you can commit these words to memory.
If you are seriously considering studying in Japan, you can inquire at your school if they have an exchange student program available. If this is not an option, you can search online for universities in Japan that offer scholarships. Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University is just one of the schools that provide scholarship opportunities to deserving students. If you are lucky enough to be accepted, don’t forget to take student travel insurance with you just in case there unexpected health emergencies. As you go on your journey, remember to enjoy, to explore, to learn as much as you can and to always do your best. Ganbatte kudasai! (Please do your best!)
Picture courtesy of favim.com