Frederick Jones is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Japan.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
One cultural experience that I had on my trip was living with a Japanese family for a weekend. This was very impactful for me because I got to see how much different Japan can be when you are around just Japanese people, with no other study abroad students. It helped be understand the Japanese culture a lot more.
Why did you choose the program in which you participated?
I wanted to study abroad because I love to travel but have never been to a country as far away as Japan. Also, since middle school, I have always wanted to go and visit Japan to see the culture and history that the country has. Finally, I wanted to improve my Japanese language skills by being around people who spoke the language fluently.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
I would describe it as a once in a lifetime experience. There is nothing like seeing Tokyo Bay from Odaiba or going to Sunshine Street in Ikebukuro. The memories of those times will always be there and the people you meet will never leave you, even if they are in another country.
How has the trip affected you? How are you different for having completed the experience?
This trip has affected me in many ways. The most profound being in how I am planning my future. Before going, I didn't know what exactly I wanted to do after graduating. This trip helped me, in that, now I know that Japan is a place I can feel happy staying in for a number of years. I am now planning on applying to teach English in Japan after graduation.
Also, going to a country that is very collectivist helped me be closer with my friends, both the friends I made in Japan and my friends I have here in the United States.
What advice do you have for future Study Abroad Students?
Where ever you decide to go, just go someplace that seems exciting. Studying Abroad is an experience that can change you forever, in a very good way. Just do it now and you won't regret it!