How does it Feel Arriving on Your Study Abroad?

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It is crazy.

Well if I can answer the question like that, I would. Being a 留学生 (ryuugakusei) is not an easy thing, especially in a high school. I still remember the first months I arrived in Japan. Meeting 14 new people that are just as clueless as you are, not being able to communicate well, and failing subjects were just some of the example I can give from the dreadful months.

But then I survived my first 6 months as a foreign student. Looking back, I actually missed those days of clueless wonderings. Here’s what it feels like for me to arrive in Japan as a foreign student:

Before arrival

  • It is terrifying. You don’t know what to expect, you have no idea about your new school, and you just need to wait until the expected day to come.
  • Expect tons of butterflies a week before
  • You kept on talking about how worried you are (or at least that’s me to my friends!)
  • Flying alone sucks and unless you’re travelling with your family members, you will probably have some clueless moments where you just stop and desperately try to find your way out of the airport to your place
  • You feel the excitement of meeting new people and starting a brand new chapter

First month

  • Your hopes shrunk, you suddenly become shy, all of the words you prepared are long forgotten
  • You suddenly start to question, did I act correctly? Do they think I’m a weird foreigner?
  • You feel the emptiness of your family, though you may not miss them it just feels weird
  • Your dorm room feels completely empty
  • Everyone seems to have their own groups already
  • Sometimes you dread to go to the canteen for dinner because you feel like the new kid and alone

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The next few months…

  • But hey, you get to interact with students similar to you and that means, foreigners!
  • Local students will be interested in talking to you
  • You get to be stared at, but some decided to smile and wave. Though you felt weird, you smiled back politely
  • Boy oh boy, new places to visit
  • There are a lot of things that you can learn
  • You feel like its worth it

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That sums up how I feel during the first weeks I spent alone in Japan. It was scary, really. But then I was thankful that I decided to come here. It took me more than a month to settle in and make my room feel like my home.

Trust me, when you finally get to make friends and socialize, it will get better! You get to know a few cool people, you get to understand what you’re studying, and the most important thing for me is that the spirit to actually learn is there. It is a new beginning after all.

If you would like me to write more about my school life here in Japan, please comment down below! I would love to share my experiences.

Cheers to life as a high school student abroad ♥

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