Lavy is an Ambassador who studied abroad in Japan
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I chose to participate in this program long before I actually attending Saint John's University. It has always been one of dreams to travel to Japan, whether it was studying aboard or a personal trip. My life has always been influence by Japanese culture without my knowledge; from the animes I watched, to the manga I read, and even when my brothers took Japanese language course in high school. Through these different combination I actually chose Saint John's because of the program they have here and in hope that I would be able to participate in the program itself.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
Although highly influence by Japanese culture through anime, manga, and taking the Japanese language course, to my surprise everything was not what I expected. Before going I did not take a course on Japanese culture or society so when I did get to Japan it truly was a whole different world. Although there were difference there were also similarity; the idea of "Minnesota Nice" kind of carried over in a way, every Japanese student, staff, person for that matter were so nice and helpful even if they did not know English, they did there best to help us out. It was truly amazing how the culture quickly became in a way, part of the norm for many of us.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Studying abroad in Japan, if I could do it all over again I would in a heart beat. It was and is one of the most incredible journey of my life that I was very fortunately to have gone. The people, culture, Japan itself is full of wonders that i wish I was able to explore more, although I was not able to I was still able to do many things that other may not ever have. I have learn so much about Japan, it's relation to other countries and to my self. I only wish for this program is that it would be longer than one semester, in honestly one is not enough to gain a full understanding of the culture and life there.
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Studying abroad will definitely change you, or at least it did me. I do not think I would be the same, in honestly I am not the same person as I was before i went to Japan. Japan has change me in so many ways, with it's culture, traditions, and the wonderful people that I have met there. I have learn so much about me, my life, what I want to do more with my life in the future. Going abroad should be a requirement I think because it allows for a student to really understand the world outside the U.S. and the small community of CSB and SJU. It will really open us all up and give better insight on future careers and way of life.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
If one is considering studying abroad I would suggest researching about the country and the program of your choosing before applying. As well if one is still in doubt about financial situation I would recommend talking to financial aid, study abroad coordinators, and your academic advisor. These people are here to help you with your education and dreams; they want you to have the best experience you can have.
As well I would advice that if you do go, do not just stay in your room and sit and play on your computer all day. That is nothing new that you are experiencing. One should get up and experience as much things as possible because it is a once and life time trip with the different people in your study abroad group. Try as much different things and do as much because before you leave or when you come back, you will wish you had done more.
Do you have questions about studying abroad in Japan? Email Lavy at firstname.lastname@example.org