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What is it like to study abroad in Japan?

I hope to travel and study abroad in Japan in the future for animating purposes and would like to know what I should expect and how to prepare. japan traveling

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Chris’s Answer

Ashley, I didn't study in Japan, but I have studied abroad and right after college lived abroad for two years. Hopefully someone else can provide specifics about Japan, but I'll comment in general about something to consider.

Going abroad like this for me had two very big and exciting components. First is what your specific technical reason for going which sounds like for you its about graphic arts. Sounds like it could be amazing. For that part of the trip, if you go - make the most of it and prioritize learning as much as you can. Those opportunities don't come around often so learn and practice as much as you can.

The surprising thing I learned was how much more there is to the world. Sounds silly, but when you are away from your friends and family, you'll have to rely on yourself and the people you'll have just met. This is from everything from getting from one place to another, and for fun outside of your work. This for me was the best part of the experience. So much of what I thought was "right" was often wrong. So simply listening and trying to understand other's points of view was fascinating. There is so much fun with these kinds of experiences - just don't let it overtake the first goal, which is learning in the program you signed up for.

Lastly, while you'll want to stay connected to your friends and family here, you may benefit from focusing on your new friends and the program. Staying focused on being there, participating in the program, and checking out a great place will be amazing. It won't be as much fun though if you spend too much time focused on what's happening back home - you'll catch up with that soon enough. Enjoy the program while you can

Good luck!
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Iku’s Answer

I think it's great that you're thinking of studying and traveling to Japan! I studied there for a summer abroad and also lived and taught English for two years after college. I think there are a few things you can do to prepare. One is to take at least a basic Japanese course (it's just helpful to get started). If you decide to do a program, try to get out and meet the people. The people managing your program should be able to find you some opportunities to volunteer or otherwise get involved with the community. It's very easy to just stick with the folks in your program. Get a Japan Rail Pass and see the country! (You have to do that in your home country before leaving). And most of all, keep an open mind and enjoy yourself!
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