My name is Sean Badurina, and I’m a mathematics major who studied abroad in Japan for an academic year. My time there started by getting all of my paperwork for living in Japan set up, getting to know the people living at I-House with me, and getting myself ready for classes. As well, during my time, I signed up for the Aikido club. I wanted to make sure that I was at least somewhat involved with campus life. During the summer, I actually spent a decent amount of time outside of campus, as my family came to visit me during the break. The second semester was okay. The language class was significantly more difficult, and there were some social issues at I-House that pushed me to spend the last couple of weeks at NUFS-NUAS Residence, but overall I had a good experience! I would highly recommend NUFS as a university to study at, especially considering that they as a school specialize in international affairs.
The start of my time in Japan went very well, as we had two RAs who were there to help us get set up. As far as setups go, it wasn’t bad! We each had a small bedroom with a hall that led to a bathroom and door to the common area. The other residents were all pretty nice, during the first semester. There were games to help us get to know each other, and we’d spend some evenings at karaoke. A couple of weeks into the semester, I had decided to join the aikido club. I felt that I needed the socialization and language practice from engaging with campus life, as well as the physical activity from a sport that wasn’t actively competitive. During my time, I made some really good friends in the Aikido club, and I hope to see them again when I go back to Japan!
NUFS offered culture courses in addition to the language courses. The culture courses that I took were their intercultural competence course, as well as their course on education in Japan. I feel like the course discussing intercultural competence is the one that will help me more overall in my future career prospects, as the skill in navigating cultural differences transfers very well to other interpersonal situations, but I found the education in Japan course to be more interesting. My grandmother was an educator for a long time, and I’ve definitely given thought to being a teacher when I graduate, seeing as mathematics baccalaureates don’t have as many options as masters or doctorates.
My second semester went… more poorly. I was having social issues at I-House as things changed, and that bled into how well I could study. It was good that I had aikido as a club that I could spend time with, but I eventually had to move out. Otherwise, the second semester wasn’t terribly more interesting than the first. I decided to solely take the language course during the second semester, and outside of I-House, I had a daily routine that I think that I could adapt for when I get back to Japan. Overall, the experience was good, and I recommend that people study abroad in Japan!
Sean Badurina (BS Math) spent Spring 2022 – Fall 2022 studying abroad in Aichi, Japan through the UTC exchange program at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies. Sean had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad is a terrific experience to directly learn about another culture through everyday experiences. So, when you do your study abroad, get involved!”
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