My excitement about going to Japan turned into anxiousness when I heard that I was the only international student who got the opportunity to go on this lifetime study abroad adventure with 14 domestic students.
Aside from financial matters, going abroad with students I’ve never met before put me outside my comfort zone. It took me a while to sum up the courage and decide to participate in this program. I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity of learning Japanese and at the same time visiting different places and interacting with Japanese students.
The program is in partnership with Osaka Gakuin University (OGU) which is located in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. Our program schedules were sent to us when we confirmed our offer. There was a chat group in Line which was created by Tao Meng from the International Centre Office of OGU. Information on airport pick up and program details were shared there. Altogether, there were 33 students from six different countries. We were split up into smaller groups of four to six students, with two OGU students assigned to each group to be our ‘helping hands’ and assist us during the three weeks of the program.
It is the first week of the program and I have started my class already. The program has been scheduled in a way that we have some activities in between classes and also some free days to do our own things. I went to the campus on the third day and was amazed to see the facilities in OGU. They have a huge campus which has state of the art facilities. They have an International Chat Lounge (I-Chat) which is a unique thing as it’s a welcoming environment to practice international languages so that students can broaden their awareness of cultures around the world. The library has been positioned as an information centre equipped with latest computers to encourage individual learning.
Usually my Japanese classes are in the morning and faculty classes are in the evening. The faculty classes consist of interactions with other Japanese students with OGU. I have been assigned in a group along with three or four Japanese students where I need to share my experience in Australia and also ask the OGU students anything I needed to know whether it is about Japanese culture or life in Japan. Each day there are different group of students with a different activity. The fun part is that every day I get to learn something new and meet new people.
It has just being a week and I am already in love of Osaka…