Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Welcome to Kanda! (featuring me, Mette, Nerissa, Karina, and Lorena)
Welcome to Kanda! (featuring me, Mette, Nerissa, Karina, and Lorena)

Hello from Makuhari-hongo International Dormitory in Chiba, Japan! Spring has arrived, marking the start of a new semester at Kanda University of International Studies. When the cherry blossoms opened to welcome the sunshine, they also welcomed planes from all over the world at Narita Airport in Tokyo, dropping off students for the Bekka Program here at KUIS!

On my first day in Japan, I was completely exhausted. The dorm was quiet, other than our dorm mother greeting the newcomers. Since I was one of the later arrivals, I didn't really meet any people. . . until the next morning. When I walked into the hallway to check out the kitchen on our floor, I met some of the wonderful girls on my floor. Cristina and Rozio, from Spain, Nerissa, from Florida, and Mette, from Denmark. Many shy and awkward greetings were exchanged as we made our way downstairs so the experienced students could show us the way to school.

 Downstairs, I met Lorena and Karina from Brazil, Yaiza from Spain, Enni from Sweden, and Shitou from China. All of the students who had just arrived for this semester had an orientation program, so most of the dormitory went together. Since then, we've been bonding and exploring Japan together every day! (Quite a few trips to see the cherry blossoms were made. I'll post the photos and details in my next blog!)

Kanda is a university dedicated to studying all the different languages and cultures of the world, and, keeping the spirit, my dormmates and I have been experiencing not only Japanese culture, but each other's cultures as well! Friday night, the 5th floor girls (Nerissa, Mette, Cristina, Rozio, and myself) decided to have a multicultural dinner party, where we all made a dish from our home country or culture. I made parmesean crusted chicken, Nerissa made a Filipino dish with eggplant (she unfortunately doesn't know the name), Cristina and Rozio made a Spanish omelette and leche merengada (not pictured), and Mette made Danish meatballs. Needless to say, we had a veritable feast that night.

Multicultural Dinner Party

Multicultural dinner party

Although my first day settling in wasn't easy, meeting and interacting with people from all over the world who are in the same boat as me has helped me find my place in Japan over the past couple of weeks. Until next time!

*Alyssa Pragovich is Japanese major at the University of Iowa spending her semester at The Kanda University of International Studies Exchange in Chiba, Japan.

Student blog entries posted to this International Accents page may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UI Study Abroad and International Programs.  The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.