Why did you decide to study abroad?
I decided to study abroad because I wanted to get ahead in my Japanese studies and also experience Japan for the first time. My advisor for the Japanese portion of my major recommended that I study abroad through the specific program that I completed. She was a huge support and helped me through the application process.
How did you pay for your study abroad experience?
Scholarships!! I got 3 scholarships to study abroad: Gilman Scholarship, Freeman-ASIA, and the Diversity Abroad Summer Network Scholarship.
What is one thing you wish you would have known about studying abroad before you left?
I wish I would have known that I would not have needed to pack so much. I wasn't sure how the weather would be in japan and I was under the impression that I would not find my clothing size in stores (US size M, L) so I overpacked and did not have much room to bring back souvenirs.
Did you experience any discrimination abroad because of your race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or a physical disability? If so, what did you learn from the experience?
I am a female, low-income, first generation Nigerian-American born in Los Angeles, California. In my experience I did not face any discrimination and I had an amazing time in Japan because it is very safe there so I did not have to worry about my safety.
How has studying abroad benefited you, personally and academically?
Going abroad to Japan showed me that I can survive in Japan and that I would like to live and work in Japan after graduation. Before going to Japan I was worried about whether or not I would like it there since I have invested so much time into my Japanese studies, but studying abroad there confirmed that I am studying what is right for me. I definitely saw a rapid, huge increase in my Japanese language ability as well!
Any additional comments or thoughts that you have about your study abroad experience
It was amazing!! I recommend studing abroad to anyone who has the privilege to do so!