09/20/18

Preparation for Japan

Hello! This time I am writing from my bed in Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo! After I had a hard time preparing everything back in Germany, I finally made it to my new home.

Since I missed the opportunity to write a blog about my year abroad in Seoul, I felt like this time I have to write about my experience in the most exciting country in the world, Japan.

Next question was, wether to write this all in German or in English, because my English skills are not the best, as you may see. But I have many friends all over the globe, so I decided to write in a language everyone can understand, I mean, hopefully.

But back to the main story. The preparations for my study in Japan began with applying for my prefered University in Japan at my home university. I could chose 3 universities ranked from first to third choice. My top 3 have been Rikkyō, Sophia and Waseda University. After my teachers decided to send me to my first choice, Waseda University, I was waiting and waiting for a mail with a note of confirmation. In March finally, I got a mail from my instructor at my home university, that Waseda accepted me as an exchange student for the Language Program. Only after I got this confirmation I could really believe I am going to Japan this year. I was so excited. And I was ready to book my flight.

A long time of waiting for results of the dorm application and a hard time studying followed. In July I received the dorm notification. I got a room in one of the Hoshien Dorm Buildings. Back then I was relieved, but why I was disappointed when I arrived you will see a little later.

Then, mid to end of a really hot July, the longest exam period ever (at least it felt like it) gave me sleepless nights. Insomnia and light depression made it the hardest time during my university life so far. But somehow I survived and could focus on my student job in my dads company right after coming out of the last exam. For an expensive country like japan you better work for a bit extra money. So I wanted to work as much as possible.

The next step was the application for the Visa. My documents, including the Certificate of Admission, came around the end of July and I had to visit the Japanese Embassy in Munich. Munich is quite far away from my hometown and the train tickets were very expensive. However, the process of the visa application is completed very quickly and after 5 business days you can already collect your passport with the visa sticker in it! On the other hand you have to get your passport personally. They will not send it to you.

I was already working when I got my exam results from my home university. Fortunately I passed all. But working and preparing for Japan was really stressful. Running to every doctor, buying things you may not get in Japan and have them in stock, I gained a lot of weight and felt exhausted even though I didn’t do any physical exercise. The hard training losing all weight was wasted in just a month. But it was too late anyway. I was working until 31st of August and I left at the 5th of September. Let me tell you, 5 days are not enough for final preparations! The worst thing that happened was that I already missed my flight when I was waiting for the security check at the airport. I think I had never run so fast in my whole life. And the best was, the flight was delayed. ha!

My first stop was in Seoul, South Korea. I spend a good time visiting my friends who study there and had a good time with my boyfriend, too.

The sad thing was, I was super jetlagged until I arrived in Japan and I wasn’t feeling the best. But thanks to my considerate friends and boyfriend I could relieve my stress a bit. Love you!!

안녕 서울! The next step was to get on the plane for Japan. This flight was one of the worst I ever been on! I took Air Seoul, which is a cheap sub airline of Asiana. The crew was friendly and the food was good, but my stomach and my neighbors gave me a hard time.

What happened at Narita Airport and my first week in Japan? I will give a first impression in my next post! (๑╹ω╹๑ )

Stay healthy!