Dreaming of Japan

My name is Brittany Self; I’m a late 20-something creative with a passion for art, design, and absorbing everything that I can out of life. I thrive off of new experiences, and cannot express my enthusiasm for my study abroad trip to Japan.

I acquired my AA in Fine Arts in 2011, and decided to accept a job with Apple that allowed me to learn more about technology, and engage with amazing people from all over the world. I did this for nearly 4 years, and in the summer of 2015, accepted a position here at USF as a media technologist. I absolutely love my job working with young, talented students and immersing myself daily in a world of creativity and innovation. I am currently working for the university and pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications so that I can continue to advance my career.

People often ask me, “Why Japan?” when I tell them where I am going this summer. My response is usually, “I don’t think I can put it into words”. As cliche as it may sound, I have dreamed about going to Japan for as long as I can remember. I have always been fascinated by Japan’s beautiful landscapes, unique heritage, and dedication to its cultural roots. For years, I have been following bloggers and vloggers in Japan who share their stories, and could listen to them speak for hours about their adventures there.

I knew that I had to go and experience this for myself. I started planning my trip when I found out about this program, and strategically took 2 semester of Japanese language in preparation. My professor, Nozu-sensei, is leading the trip so I am thrilled that we already have a connection. Last year, I was the first to be accepted into the program. I strived to work towards the Global Citizens Award and apply for the USF Education Abroad Scholarship, and was blessed to have been awarded both which enabled me to deal with the financial aspect of this trip that would otherwise have been very difficult. I am sincerely thankful to all involved who has helped me on this journey so far!

I hope that I come back from this trip with a renewed sense of clarity for my goals; an expanded mindset that allows me to better relate to people from other walks of life; and a life-altering story that I can share with everyone in my life. Please follow me on my journey to Japan!

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