(26.09.2016 – 02.10.2016)

What a week! The first one out of only 17 weeks in Japan has ended and I can honestly say I am both exhausted and incredibly happy at the same time. What a ride to come here, I spent almost 48 hours on the road, up in the air and in capsule hotel beds before I finally set food on Oita territory. Wow, this place is what I will call home for the next six months!

I had already known this feeling of excitement from my semester in Spain where I experienced similar streams of emotions when I hopped off the bus that took me there but well, I guess this never stops (which is a good thing, because let’s be honest, not knowing what is ahead of you is half of the fun). Nevertheless, I was really happy that I was picked up by my tutor Minami, who helped me arrange during the first days and is still helping me out when I struggle. She has been taking care of me since day 1 and I can say I would have been completely lost without her. Four weeks of intensive language class is of course not enough to get even the slightest hint on where to go and what to do first after your arrival. Patiently, she took me to my dorm, shopping for groceries and furniture (my room did not even have curtains!), showed me around university and helped me with every form that I had to fill out – and believe me, there were a lot!

Even though I arrived relatively late, university had not started yet. That granted me some time to arrange my things and get in contact with the other internationals, both fellow students from Germany as well as people from the rest of Europe, including the Netherlands, Finland, and the UK, as well as China and Korea. We spent some time together, attended the first welcome meeting and instruction on university life and will be hanging out the next semester as a big group of internationals in Japan. This is going to be really exciting! Classes start on Monday next week and I have until Friday to decide for my final schedule. I am planning on taking as many Japanese classes as possible, as these upcoming 6 months will undoubtably be the best language practice I can possibly get. So here we go Japan, I am ready!

The first peek on Oita – rather rural, compared to what might have come to your mind when thinking about Japan!