Studying abroad in Japan for the Public Health Perspectives trip was a life changing experience for me. Every day was a new adventure, whether it was studying and presenting public health issues at the University of Tokyo, visiting the Hiroshima peace memorial, or traveling to Miyajima Island to see the Itsukushima Shrine.
Going into this study abroad trip, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Luckily my trip exceeded all expectations. I ended up making life-long friends abroad and enhancing my love for travelling. The food there was absolutely amazing, and I was immersed in the Japanese culture almost immediately.
Travelling abroad to Japan as a public health major has only enhanced my love for public health issues and has made me more sensitive and understanding to similar international issues. My favorite part about studying abroad in Japan was making friends who then showed me the best spots in Harajuku and Shibuya, two very popular tourist wards in Tokyo, Japan.
Though I loved my trip, there were definitely some challenges and cultural barriers that I had to overcome. For example, I didn't speak the language at all when I got there so it was very hard to ask for directions or order food on a daily basis. However, I was surprised by the kindness and understanding of the Japanese people during my stay, as it only made my trip that much more amazing. The locals were very helpful and many of them surprisingly spoke English as a second language.
Studying abroad gave me a new outlook and sense of appreciation for other cultures. Everybody with the opportunity to travel abroad should definitely take advantage and experience something completely new the way I did.
Written by YSP Scholar Taylor Bostic