Major: Computer Science
Program: Temple University Japan
Where: Tokyo, Japan
When: Spring ’06
Favorite Course: Japanese
Highlight: All-night karaoke with friends
Favorite Dish: Miso ramen
Next Destination: Italy, France, India, or Hong Kong
What did you learn to love about Japan?
I learned to love the convenience of convenience stores while living in Japan. You can buy many goodies such as cup ramen, bread, chips, candy, and, what I liked the most, bentos (lunch boxes). At convenience stores, you can also post mail, buy tickets (concert tickets, convention tickets, etc.), and even pay your bills. They were amazing, and I often thought to myself, “This is how convenience stores should be.”
Who will you remember most from your study abroad experience and why?
The person I will remember the most from my study abroad experience is the owner at the Lawson convenience store near school. She was the first person to randomly speak to me outside of school. As I was buying my bento from Lawson, she asked me if I was Korean. I answered back, saying yes. From that point on, I would say hello and have small conversations with her every time I went to Lawson. There was even a time when she came looking for me at school to give me something I had forgotten at the store. I was very surprised to see a person do such a thing. She even gave a group of us at school some Korean nori (seaweed) after her trip to Korea.
How was the experience of studying the language in the classroom prior to studying abroad different from the experience of studying the language in and outside of the classroom once you were abroad?
The experience of studying a language in a classroom prior to studying abroad was not different from the experience of studying the language in the classroom once I was abroad, but the experience was different once I got out of the classroom. I did not get the chance to use the language outside of the classroom or see it everywhere around me when I was learning the language in the States. Studying abroad helped me strengthen and improve my language skills because I had to use it everyday in Tokyo.