Indiana University Overseas Study

Author Archive

Halfway Around the World and Back Again

ostaszewksti_melissa

Although I returned home a couple of weeks ago, I am still re-adjusting to college life in America.  Perhaps because my host family often cooked for me, I forgot quite a few items while shopping for my usual groceries.  Because I did not purchase a phone in Japan, I relied on punctual scheduling and specific meeting places; here, I almost panicked before remembering that I could actually use my cell phone to contact family and friends.

(more…)

Ringing in a New Year from the Shrines of Japan

ostaszewksti_melissa

New Year’s is undeniably one of the most important events celebrated in Japan.  I imagined this meant a night out laughing, dancing, and socializing with friends and family while waiting for the countdown to midnight and firework spectacular.

(more…)

Teaching… Or Playing?! My Experience as a Volunteer Sensei

ostaszewksti_melissa

Many of the exchange students here at Nanzan University have taken up part-time jobs at English cafés or restaurants and have said that, although they speak in English, work is a fantastic way of meeting new people. Whether the customer is Japanese or a foreigner, everyone is coming together to socialize and practice communication skills.

(more…)

Exercising in Japan – Don’t forget your gym shoes…or your other gym shoes!

ostaszewksti_melissa

As a runner and spin enthusiast, I came to Nagoya thinking there would be plenty of sports centers and bike trails where I could continue running, riding bikes through parks, or enrolling in a spin class.  To my surprise, I discovered that exercise is not particularly popular among the Japanese, and even less so among college students.

(more…)

Time Management – Balancing time as a student and as a traveler

As the semester (and trip abroad!) winds down, we ryuugakusei must balance time preparing for final exams, papers and presentations with time meeting friends and exploring new destinations.  I hope to make the most of my time in Japan by not only making the grades, but also enjoying all this unique culture has left to offer.

(more…)

Farming in the Mountains of Rural Japan

Near the end of summer, as one travels further from the sprawling city of Nagoya, one may notice that the rice fields have changed color from green to golden-yellow—this means that the harvest season has arrived!

(more…)

Tanoshimi ni shiteiru yo! Ready to kick off this semester abroad!

It’s unbelievable that I have been living in Japan for nearly a month already!

While I’ve been in Nagoya for nearly two weeks and this is where I’ll be studying during the fall semester, I started my trip abroad one Shinkansen ride away.  My journey began in Kanagawa Prefecture, where I was able to stay with the family who hosted me during my short trip two years ago.

(more…)

%d bloggers like this: