My studying abroad will be at an end within three weeks. I still find it hard to phrase exact words to express how I feel about graduating from WU and saying good bye to friends. There are many things that happened in my life and these experiences have changed my life while I’m here. I know that I am not the same person I was before I came here.
It was not that easy to adapt to American culture and I’ve experienced being homesick in the past. Everything was challenging both in terms of culture and academics. My studying abroad experiences would not have been that great without meeting wonderful people and great academic supports, and I really appreciate those who supported me. The thing that I appreciate the most through studying abroad at Willamette is to gain broader perspectives.
Throughout these past two years, I’ve met so many wonderful people all over the world and learned so much about their culture and perspectives. Even though we are not from the same country nor have same mother tongue, we coincidentally came to Willamette with different interests and goals and became friends. It is such a blessing to get to know them personally and it gave me new insights for my life. I took for granted having everything but actually I realized that it is my privilege to have material and mental supports. Meeting new people and learning things through them gave me more motivations to learn their cultures that I might not have got interested in.
By interacting with people who have culturally and racially different backgrounds, I also learn about myself. I recognized how I perceived things are different and learn that this is because I grew up in Japanese society for 20 years. It was great to have the opportunity to learn about my own culture and personality here. Knowledge and broader perspectives that I have gained here will definitely help my future in terms of understanding different cultures and interacting with people who have different background. I appreciate this friendship that we’ve been building for these couple years and hope to keep in touch with them for the rest of my life.
I want to say THANK YOU for making my two years memorable and precious!