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By tokyostyle101



I've had a lot of people ask me why I'm returning to Japan to study abroad. Is it really abroad when I hold citizenship to the country I'm studying in? Does it count? Will it be a true cultural experience?

I don't think I have the answer to any of these questions. Except for the question Why did I return to Japan.

I haven't lived here my whole life, but I've been here long enough to feel that it is as much of a home to me as America is. Although one problem is language...I speak colloquially but not fluently. I cannot express my personality as well in Japanese as I can in English and it has put up some barriers. I am never considered Japanese by Japanese people because I don't look it. I want to be able to function here as any citizen can so that A. I can surprise people by bustin' out my language skills and B. Because of the March 11th 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami in Northeastern Japan. (further referred to as 3.11) ...continue reading "We are all TOMODACHI"

By bbuck92

September 4th: Discuss what study abroad program you are attending and why, what type of volunteer work/research you plan to do abroad

Brendan Buckland
About eight years ago, on an impulse I hardly even remember anymore, I found myself on a rented surfboard in Maine. While my mother nervously watched from the shore, I floated in whitewater surf giddily trying to recreate what I had seen on posters and movies. Of course, my attempts to surf with ease were in vain and I flopped around in the waves endangering myself far more than I was able to impress any onlookers. I collapsed after several hours when the sun had set with sore limbs and rashes which made it uncomfortable to walk. When my mother approached me to assess the damage I begged for a second day. All damage aside, I was hooked.

Such was my indoctrination into the world of surf. While my passion continued for several summers, a busy high school schedule and lack of car, along with a move to Washington DC for college eventually ended my brief affair with surfing. ...continue reading "Valpo Surf Project"