Hello, Iowa! As you guys are finishing up your spring semester, ours is only just beginning! I’ve had some time to adjust to my class schedule and homework load since March, and it’s definitely been an enjoyable journey. Class registration happened earlier this month, so everyone’s schedules have been finalized.
The classes I decided on are, of course, the compulsory courses like grammar and writing, but also electives like pronunciation, teaching Japanese as a foreign language, and written expressions. I had joined the Japanese yosakoi dance club, but with classes, it was a little too much to handle. Even though I can’t make it to practices, I still made a few good friends from the club! We were all given nicknames too, which was a lot of fun. Mine was Fuwa (fluffy), because I like making sweets. KUIS’ system for club registration is well thought-out; you can attend a fair to see what kinds of clubs there are, and visit the ones you like. If you really like them, you can keep going to them until the actual registration day comes. By the time registration day rolls around, everyone has a good idea of what their schedule is like, so they can make their final decision with that in mind.
Anyway, my courses have been really fun, but also challenging. There are some days where I understand things quickly and finish my work in class, and there are days where I look at a handout and realize I can’t read. My struggles with reading the Chinese characters never end, even after seven years of studying Japanese. On the bright side, there’s a class for that too. J
I’ve also been going out a lot on the weekends to explore- a must! School is definitely important in study abroad, but making time to take a look around your new home is a necessity! The cherry blossoms were in bloom, so a few of us decided to do the classic Japanese spring pastime of hanami (flower viewing). For all those future study abroad students in Japan, definitely try to come in the spring!
*Alyssa Pragovich is a 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.