After five weeks of amazing adventures, long cram sessions, and a ton of new friends, my journey abroad in Kyoto has finally come to an end. The last week was tough not only because I had a final, 2 presentations, and rehearsals for a final performance, but also because I knew it’d be the last week to spend time with the many friends that I’ve made throughout the duration of my program. Thanks to my giving back project (mentioned in a previous journal entry), I was able to make friends with Japanese students outside of Ritsumeikan’s buddy system, and they were some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. I’m truly grateful that I received the FEA scholarship, as I would not have met them without it!
Friday was the last day of the program, and from beginning to end, it was a very emotional day. After using our class time for one last rehearsal for our performance at the completion ceremony, I had a final lunch with some of the friends I made through my giving back project, who surprised me with omiyage (souvenir) of Japanese snacks! It was so hard to say goodbye, and I realized then that I would be going through that same feeling over and over again throughout the day…
The completion ceremony began at 1:30, and each class was required to perform at the ceremony. After receiving our certificates, my class performed 3 Japanese songs (while dancing), while the other classes performed skits. After the performances, our Japanese program buddies made a special video presentation showcasing our time abroad. Needless to say, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
After the emotional completion ceremony, we had a farewell party, where we got to have a final fun afternoon with each other, and forget our sadness for just a little while. Of course, the time came when the party came to an end, and with that, so did our journey abroad.
I still cannot believe that it’s over, and how much fun it was! I also cannot believe that I was able to bond so closely with so many people in a short amount of time! I’m so blessed that I got to experience my lifelong dream with an amazing group of people, and I know I will return to Japan in the near future! Studying abroad has been the most amazing experience of my life, and I will never forget it for as long as I live! Thank you FEA, for literally changing my life!