Hello everyone! My name is Courtney Marsh and I have been granted an amazing opportunity to visit Japan this summer for the two week class, Japan: Culture History and Society. I am an Anthropology major and this class is my last 3 credits to graduate. Honestly, I had wanted to go so bad that I postponed my graduation until summer just so I can participate in this program. What a way to end my last semester here at USF! I had visited Japan last year for a program called the Kakehashi project where university students from both the U.S and Japan would assist in building a “bridge” between both countries. We went for 10 days last summer and the Japanese students from Kyoto Sangyo University welcomed and befriended us in an instant. They themselves had come to the U.S in March of this year and visited us at USF. We had an amazing time together and I miss them so much. The Kakehashi Project then became my catalyst for going back to Japan. Ten days surely wasn’t enough for me to explore what Japan had to offer so I’m looking forward to going back and having more adventures. We were on a schedule last time so free time was very limited 😦 I will also get a chance to go visit Kyoto Sangyo University once again and see my friends. So excited!
To be honest, I almost backed out of this trip not only because of funding but because of discouragement from family members. It was stressful because my heart was saying “go”, while my logical mind told me to stay; its too much of a financial risk. But you know what? I decided to take a chance anyway. You know that feeling that you have when you feel you NEED to do something? That was the feeling I was getting, and it wasn’t only because I wanted to go, but that if I DO go it would open doors for me that wouldn’t happen if I had chosen to stay. And yes, I have constantly had second thoughts about going for several reasons, but the feeling of needing to go was too strong, so I gave in. I am now super excited about this decision and I’m ready to learn more about Japan and what it has to offer. I have no doubt that this trip will be one of the most life-changing experiences of my life. Let’s wait and see 😉
My flight is in 14 hours and my friend and I will be traveling through Canada, then 13 hours later we head for Tokyo. I’m sure this would be one of the best decisions I have ever made and I can’t wait for that moment when we touch down on Japanese soil.