[Pre-Departure] Why I wanted to go to Japan and Ritsumeikan University

Traveling to other countries has always been a dream of mine. As a child and teenager, I did not have the fortunate opportunity to travel the world like some people I know; however, I did not let that deter me away from challenges. When I entered the university, I immediately knew I wanted to study abroad. During my first semester at The University of Alabama, I visited the study abroad office. The main question, where do you want to study?


I picked Japan for many reasons. The country is beautiful and full of rich history that is unlike anything the United States has. I wanted to learn about the emperors, the palaces, and the other amazing history that the US never had. Finding out new history is exciting for me! I love learning about it, and I wanted to be in the center of it all, which is why I wanted to go to Kyoto.


Kyoto, Japan was the ancient capital, before Tokyo became the official capital of modern Japan. With a business school, next to the previous capital of Japan, I fell in love. Ritsumeikan University is a private university with an Intensive Japanese Language program; however, I must forgo my summer vacation (explains why I am posting my first blog post so late). Ritsumeikan University is not like Kansai Gaidai (a popular international university that many UA students have attended in the past). Ritsumeikan operates on the Japanese school year which starts in April and ends in August. I will be arriving back in the United States when University of Alabama’s school year is about to start.


Although the university uses a different school year, I never back down from a challenge. The University allows me to earn business credit, learn Japanese, and experience Japanese culture the most I can. I cannot expand as a person if I choose to take the easy path. I made the decision, and I have not regretted it.

Author: Emily P

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