To start us off, my name is Noor Elalami! I’m now a sophomore majoring in International Studies and, as the title suggests, I’m studying abroad. I received the Joan Newcomb Study Abroad Scholarship to study at Kansai Gaidai University located near Osaka, Japan. I have been in Japan for about three weeks now so a lot has happened. However, university classes didn’t start until last week, so we had plenty of time to recuperate from our travels and settle ourselves in. This will probably be an extra long post to make up for the past three weeks being blog-free.
I had planned to travel along with two other schoolmates, one of them being Chelsea Hallee who has already posted to this blog. Since our flight was from Tampa to Chicago to Tokyo to the Osaka airport, we ended up being delayed in Chicago due to the typhoons happening in Tokyo. However, our delays allowed us to meet two other Kansai Gaidai students at the airport, which I found to be a great coincidence. The typhoons also caused all domestic flights in Tokyo to be cancelled, leading us to be stranded in Tokyo once we arrived in the early evening. We ended up having to travel from the Tokyo Narita airport to another airport whose name I don’t even remember (or care for at the time) which wasn’t the most fun experience in the world due to having to carry our luggage on the trains and such. At the end of it all though, we did get to KGU safe and sound so what more can you ask for?
It’s been smooth sailing from there. Although I am doing a home-stay this study abroad (which is going fantastic by the way, I love my home-stay family and don’t regret the decision one bit), we were put into the dorms for the first week or so. I had a fantastic roommate and the dorms were a great opportunity to get to know your fellow program-mates before you move to your home-stay families.It’s also very easy getting to know the Japanese students here as there are many opportunities to do so, one of which was the Kyoto tour where I really bonded with the Japanese students that were giving us the tour. I can also meet native students by just sitting around the lounge. I’ve also been traveling and exploring new places as much as I can, and I’ve already been to Kyoto and Namba which are both fantastic, beautiful places that I wouldn’t mind going to again and again. I can’t wait for the Japanese students to come back from their summer break (which is tomorrow on 9/12 btw) so that campus life can really begin!!
Me in Kyoto!!
Chelsea and I on the big screen in Namba!!
After Kyoto we went to a light up shrine and all the trees were so pretty!
KGU has a great speaking partner program that hooks you up with a Japanese student so that you can teach each other English and Japanese! We went and got pasta at a restaurant on our first meeting.