I really cannot believe that my study abroad life is now over! The ten months I spent in Japan flew so fast. This experience was really great for me and I have countless of fun memories.
The first day in my school was very interesting. I had to give a greeting speech in front of my classmates. During my speech everyone was listening carefully and quietly, but they suddenly became noisy soon after I finished talking. The girls were speaking in a loud voice, saying: “oh, she is so cute”, “she is so beautiful”. It gave me the chills a little. Then, a lot of students came to see me at lunch time. It was just like in a zoo but everyone was so kind. They also gave me a lot of welcome presents. This day is one of my greatest memories.
Since Japan is very different from Belgium, everyday was a brand new discovery. For example, people use chopsticks in Japan and they sleep on futon. At the beginning, I thought that sleeping on futon was quite tough. I used to feel pain in my back every morning but it became easier little by little. The most surprising thing in my school was that they have a cleaning period after classes. In Belgium students don’t clean up.
During my study abroad year I experienced various events at school. There was a school festival in September. My class made a “pie-throwing” stand. I was impressed with everyone’s creativity and I laughed a lot with my friends. After the school festival, we all went out together to celebrate the success of the event. It was so much fun! Then, on a different event we had a home match with other schools. Everything was so much fun. We grabbed the second prize in another home match competition in March. Everyone was so happy about that. I have a bunch of memories with my classmates and I really like them all.
During my stay I also learned much about the authentic Japanese culture. At my first host family I had a host sister called Maako. She became 20 years old this year and joined the traditional “coming-of-age ceremony.” I went to her photo session, which almost all young women turning 20 in Japan take part in as a memory of the event. It was very interesting and she was so beautiful. I also had a chance to put on a kimono thanks to my host family in January. I was really glad because I love kimono. It is a wonderful memory.
While I was in Japan I went to many places (to name a few: Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Nagano, Kurashiki) with my host families. Every trip was fantastic. There are too many interesting things to mention it all here. This study abroad experience became the greatest experience thanks to the people I have met in Japan. I feel sad to leave Japan. Thank you WYS for everything.