Konnichiwa! My name’s Shonda and I’m majoring in Computer Information Technology (Software Development Track) at Florida International University. I’m also earning a minor in Japanese Language and Literature, as well as a certificate in Japanese Studies. I currently work as an undergraduate researcher at the High Performance Database Research Center at FIU. After years of fantasizing about traveling to Japan and actually experiencing the culture for myself, I will finally go to the land of the rising sun, where I will be studying Advance Japanese II. This is a dream I’ve had since I was a child, when my love for anime and manga (Japanese comics) blossomed and transformed into a true appreciation for Japanese culture, and ultimately found its way into my academic and future goals, such as aspiring to work for Nintendo. When I’m not studying, I enjoy drawing, playing video games (especially ones made by Nintendo), and spending time with my mom and five (!) siblings.

This summer, I will be studying abroad at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto for a five week intensive language and culture program. This program has so many unique aspects, such as cultural exploration and a buddy system! The best part about my time abroad is that I will get to experience every last minute of it with my best friend; my identical twin sister. Traveling abroad will be a totally new experience for me, so I’m excited that we will both get to study abroad for the first time together. After our five week stay, my twin and I plan to stay an additional week in Japan, where we will have the chance to explore beyond Kyoto. Our plans include a visit to Hiroshima, Nara, and a few days in Tokyo. Yatta (Yahoo)!

Journal entries by Shonda