Getting Accustomed to Daily Japanese Life

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Hey guys I am back but this time with a typed blog. It has been a few weeks since my last blog and a lot has changed. At first a few weeks ago when I started my classes, I was very nervous. Our Japanese language courses are structured by taking an entrance exam and being placed into the Japanese class level best suited for you. I was placed into Level 5 which is the second highest level I could take here as an exchange student. My classmates are all very good at Japanese in all aspects. That made me a bit worried but I decided to study harder to match their level as best as I can. Thus since then I have worked harder studying my textbook, vocabulary and Kanji as well as speaking as much Japanese as possible and making friends. As a result I am a lot more confident and happier now. I have become friends with my classmates and we hang out often. It is very fun and I enjoy school. The classes here are 100 minutes and every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I have 2 Japanese language courses back to back in the morning for a total of 200 minutes. Also on Mondays and Thursdays I have a separate course called Fieldwork Methods. In that class there are international students and Japanese students. We work together to make a research topic about anything of our choosing. We then research the topic a little bit and create interview questions about what we wish to find out about our topic. We then conduct those interviews and analyze and present the information. It is really fun because it helps us learn about our classmates who are from various backgrounds. After school I go to either the Japan Plaza or World Plaza. Both are places for international students to meet new people. The Japan Plaza is for international students to practice Japanese as only Japanese is allowed. The World Plaza is for Japanese students to practice foreign languages with international students. I think I make a new friend everyday when I go there. Everyone is so nice and I like showing them card games. Especially when I am in the Japan Plaza because explaining card games in Japanese can be tough but good practice for my speaking abilities. After I finish up in either of the Plazas, if it is a school day I will finish my homework and then hang out with friends going to a convenience store. I love going there with friends and getting ice cream because it is very hot here right now. It gets to about 31 degrees Celcisus and the humidity is high so it makes it almost unbearable. It is very interesting going to convenience stores too because of how different the interactions are when you go shopping here. The clerks always greet you and treat you with kindness. They are very nice however with Japanese culture, there is very little interaction between the customer and the clerk so the customers may usually just ignore the clerk and keep the transactions short with no conversation. I found that interesting because I like interacting with clerks. In America I always say hi and make small talk like “how is your day” or something small along those lines. Also I am glad I am able to balance out my life here. I get my homework done pretty quickly and then make time to be with friends and my host family. With friends, I try to be very open to new things and meeting new people. It has always worked for the better here as I get invited to hang out and do many different things. Today I am meeting up with friends to play basketball on campus. It is so much fun because you interact more and make good memories. Making friends here makes me really realize how universal it is to just be open and meet new people. My friends are my friends because they too wanted to learn more about a different culture and challenge themselves to be open and learn new things and speak a new language. It really brings us closer together and it makes me very happy. I have a lot more videos so the next blog will probably be a vlog because there have been a lot of pretty places I have been to. So one thing that I hope to continue doing into the next vlog is meet new people and live my life to its fullest. I hope to show more of my friends in the next video so for now please enjoy these photos of the town I am staying at, Nagoya, Japan.