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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Olivia in Japan

Olivia Ohman ’19 is an Asian Studies major with a focus in the Japanese language who is studying in Nagoya, Japan.

Note from Abroad: I study at Lake Forest College in Asian Studies with a concentration in the Japanese Language. At Chukyo University I am immersed in the Japanese language every day and am also taking courses involving Japanese art, culture, and history.

I had never been to Japan before, yet being in a country I had always wanted to go to since I was a child, makes my dreams come true. Several family members have been to or lived in Japan: to study, teach, sightsee and live. And now I am living in Japan too. Thanks to the Airfare scholarship award from Lake Forest College, I was one step closer to being in Japan.

Many things in Japan are similar to America, yet there are also very stark differences. The convenience of living in Chicago versus living in Nagoya is similar and the walkability is good. Japan, however, has a more complicated but more convenient transportation system. Trains, buses, bicycles, and even walking feels safer and more efficient.

Sorting garbage is a whole new experience from America. I do recycle and reserve resources at home. In Japan, everything is sorted carefully and exactly. I wish I knew a little more about the system beforehand, but we were given a useful guide to help the process. Plastics packaging, paper packaging, burnable garbage, non-burnable garbage, and others are among the categories. Sorting my garbage and managing my waste will help me be even more considerate of the environment and how I manage my reusable resources.

So far everyone has been very kind, both staff and students. Those who are involved in the International Center at Chukyo University are very invested in orienting us. I look forward to celebrating national holidays and learning new traditions. Thank you very much for this critical airfare assistance.