It seems like the wait for my trip to Japan keeps getting longer. I have attended countless seminars and orientations that talk about cultural adaptation and the kind of problems I might face as this will be my first time out of the country. Yet, no matter how many of them I attend, the more I am convinced that I will have an easier time adapting to the culture in Japan than I will re-adapting to our culture here. I have been studying tirelessly and planning for future semesters abroad and during all this time I thought was passing by, it seems like I’m still a year away from leaving. When I was speaking with m advisor earlier today, she asked what I would miss least when I leave here. I told her that the only thing I WOULD miss are my nephews. If not for them, I don’t think I have much reason to come back. However, as their primary role-model, I try to help set a good example for them and I would never want to leave them behind. I try to help them understand that my going away doesn’t mean I don’t love them, but rather I’m working to make a better future for my family. International networking is a major goal of mine and it will not stop with Japan. When I return, after fulfilling my “give back” requirements, I will likely follow up with a semester in China and then in South Korea. My major is Asian Studies and it leaves a lot of room for studing in other countries, which I love. However, Japan will forever have my heart and mind. My focus is in Japanese language and culture and although I want to learn and experience other Asian cultures, I plan to return to Japan, possibly for internship and/or teaching English. No matter what I do, it will all lead me towards a very fulfilling career in International Education.
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