The best thing about traveling is being able to see the sights and experience the culture of the country. This feeling is even better when you’re going to the country for a purpose which allowed you to stay there a lot longer than you would for a normal vacation. Study abroad programs are great for this because they provide ample opportunities for students to see as much of the world as possible.
My time in Japan was unforgettable and the best decision I have made. I loved the food, culture, people, and the ability to get lost and always find my way to something interesting and exciting. I’m thankful that I decided to go through a provider program because it gave me the opportunity to meet many different people from all over the United States, and more importantly it gave me the ability to meet with others from all over the world as well. When I think back on my time in Japan, I always think about the time I spent travelling around and exploring and staying out past last train even though I knew I had class in the morning. The most vivid memories from my time in Japan were all the trips that my provider set up for my group and I to travel around and see things in the country that we might not have thought of while we were there, and the vacation that I took while on semester break to Osaka with one of my native friends that I made there.
Having the freedom to go where I wanted, but also always having a support system through the school or through my provider made me feel comfortable and at home in the country even when I decided that I wanted to travel throughout the entirety of Tokyo for a few days. Everything that I did in the country made me realize that there is so much more to life then what I experienced every day. Sure, being in a familiar environment is comfortable, but travelling helped me to realize that it isn’t just the environment that is comforting but also how you as a person deal with whatever situation you are in.
I’m just a kid from a suburban city in the south, this is the only place that I really know, but I took the opportunity to branch out and go to a country I’ve always been interested in, and I feel that it has helped me grow as a person, and for anyone that is reading this and is hesitant about taking that leap into the unknown, my only advice would be to do it, jump and experience the world beyond the familiar and you will find a place for yourself no matter where you may end up.
I want to thank everybody that I met while in Japan and all the friendships I developed for helping me to realize this, and who knows maybe I will be able to go on another study abroad trip to a new country in the future.
Jared Lambert (BA English: Creative Writing) spent the Fall 2022 semester studying abroad in Tokyo, Japan through CIEE. Jared had the following to say about studying abroad, “Don’t be scared to get lost! Half the adventure is not knowing where you’ll end up.”
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