Hi Everyone! My name is Joanna Magana. I am currently a Junior at the University of California, Riverside. I grew up in a Salvadoran household which has humbly allowed me a perspective of an insider and outsider throughout my life. I was born and raised in Hayward, California. Hayward has been referred to as the heart of the Bay Area. It is widely considered as one of the most diversified cities today. The realization that traveling was necessary for my happiness came with the wonderful, well-rounded people I grew up with whom educated me about their very own viewpoints and family values. Unfortunately, my desire to travel was placed on hold after the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis happened, my family and I lost our home. As I work on my Media Cultural Studies degree, the possibilities for studying abroad resurfaced when my program announced a summer abroad in Tokyo, Japan.

For five weeks I will be fulfilling two upper division courses all while enjoying a check off of my bucket list. I am looking forward to conducting short film projects and immersing myself in both traditional and modern aspects of Japan. Academically, I hope to advance and broaden my approach to education while amplifying my passion for media and cultural studies through the technological mediums that Japan represents. I am eager to learn, love and experience all the elements that make Japan unique.

Journal entries by Joanna