ありがとう、日本!
Jan14

ありがとう、日本!

I’ve wanted to study abroad in Japan since I was in middle school, so of course I was very excited when I first got there. I found that month by month my excitement slowly became replaced by comfort and familiarity, and as I adjusted to Japan it became home to me. Its society, my classes, and the friends I’d made from around the world helped me to grow as a person in more ways than I expected. First, I became more patient. Japanese...

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The Final Night in Russia
Dec29

The Final Night in Russia

  My last day in Russia was a lot of things. It was stressful, it was fun, it was full of nostalgia, but most of all, it was meaningful. I was responsible all semester and left every last bit of my packing to the last day — but there were still lots of fun things that I wanted to get done as well. My roommate and I initially planned to go ice skating, grab some dinner, and head back to pack all night. However, things didn’t...

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On Studying Japanese
Dec25

On Studying Japanese

“Why Japanese?” is the question most people will pelt you with when you tell them you’re learning the language. Some people will go the softer route and ask, “Oh, so what led you to that?” Others will go directly for the explosive option: “Wow you must really like anime.” The Foreign Service Institute’s School of Language Studies, which helps teach U.S. diplomats, classifies Japanese as...

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Reflecting on Thailand
Dec16

Reflecting on Thailand

As the semester comes to a close and the temperature continues to drop, I constantly find my mind wandering away from my studies and thinking about better, warmer days. Specifically the days during my trip to Thailand in October, when six friends and I stayed in Bangtao Beach, Phuket and had way too much fun. (PS. This account may not be completely objective, since Phuket’s beaches and palm trees constantly had me comparing it to my...

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The Uji Chapters
Nov14

The Uji Chapters

Of all the unread books on my shelf back home, none is more intimidating than Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji. The translation I own, the 1926 translation by Arthur Waley, lands at over a 1000 pages. (The Tale of Genji taking up a large amount of space on my Japanese Literature shelf in Birmingham, AL) Murasaki, a lady of Japan’s Heian court, wrote Genji roughly a thousand years ago, with the novel itself tracing the...

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Sending Love from My Happy Place
Nov13

Sending Love from My Happy Place

Hi, my name is Lauren Phillips and for the past 3 months I’ve been studying abroad at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. These last few months have gone by so quickly, and I’ve been having so much fun here that I’ve barely had time to write about my experiences! Now that I’ve found myself in a quiet café with a chai latte and some free time, I can finally reflect on everything that’s happened so far. I’ll start by explaining...

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