The Beginning Of Two Weeks Orientation

I eventually made it to Tokyo yesterday!! I got off the airplane after a 4 hour flight from Shanghai, and thanks to my Japanese passport I smoothly flew through Immigration and Customs, grabbed my luggage and sailed out the door to the bus that would take me to Terminal 1 where our designated meeting spot was. But when I got to Terminal 1 it took me a while to find it. I had to walk across the entire length of the terminal to find our program coordinators. In my mind I kept on imagining the worst possible scenario that could happen to me if I didn’t find them so I have to admit that I was pretty relieved when I saw them in the corner of the airport with a bunch of students. Continue reading

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上智大学

Jouchi Daigaku badgeI attended my first Online Pre-departure Orientation the other day.  It was actually really hi-techy and cool because the conference call occurred over the Internet. 20 other students from different areas in the US attended, and the Director of the Japan CIEE program who led this orientation session was in Japan. The concept of how small and accessible different areas of the world are really hit me during this presentation. The presentation covered all the main topics: Location, living situation, the university campus, special events, transportation, academics, clubs etc. This slew of information made me so excited that I had trouble sleeping that night. Less than a week to go. And the countdown officially begins. Continue reading

Farewell Denver!!

flight to japan from la

Airports are one of the most interesting places to people watch. To my right, there’s a man clipping his fingernails on top of a trashcan. Hotel music is lightly playing in the background to lighten the mood of a dreary Sunday morning. People are marching towards their boarding gates with hurried expressions on their faces. And directly in front of me is a long line of hungry travelers snaking in front of a café called the “Homeboy Bakery”. Enthralled with the pastries glowing in their glass cases, I caved in to my hunger and decided to buy an overpriced mediocre tasting chocolate croissant. While munching on this croissant I noticed that the flow of people rushing through the airport has finally slowed down and this makes me feel slightly drowsy again. Continue reading

Preparing For Departure

In less than two weeks I will finally be heading off to Japan! The idea that I am actually going abroad feels extremely surreal. You see, it’s been more than a year since I applied to this program. I can still remember the excitement and exhilaration that I felt when I was first nominated by DU to go study at Sophia University. Right now though I feel numb and emotionless. Maybe it’s because the pressure of my final exams, presentations and projects is currently quelling the waves of thrill, nervousness and elation that I usually feel before going on an adventure.  I guess it’s just going to hit me all at once when I get on the airplane. Continue reading