【トラビスのブログ3】Hiroshima study abroad- Arrival

こんにちは😊 

今日はトラビスのブログ「広島での留学、到着」です。

9年前に留学生として初めて日本に来た日の心情がリアルに綴られています。

よく覚えてるなあ、と感心しますがよっぽど印象的だったんでしょうね。

初心者の方にも分かりやすい英語で書かれていますので、是非読んでくださいね!

 

A few weeks ago I returned to Hiroshima for the first time in 5 years. Hiroshima is the first place in Japan I lived. Returning brought up many of memories.

I first came to Japan in 2007 as a study abroad student at Hiroshima University. I had studied Japanese in America for 2 years at my university. Still, I wasn’t prepared for living in a different country.

I arrived at Hiroshima at night. There were Hiroshima University students waiting there to pick me up and take me to my dorm. During the one-hour drive, one of the students started talking to me in Japanese. Only Japanese. I could only understand a few simple questions. Answering was impossible. This continued for the whole drive. I felt so overwhelmed. I realized how much I still needed to learn.

We finally arrived at the dorm and they showed me my room. It was SO small! There was only enough room for a single bed, a desk and a small bookshelf. There was a toilet, but no shower or bath. The room was hot and smelled a little strange after being empty for few months during summer vacation. The students informed me of the orientation the next morning and gave me a map. They said good night and left me there alone. I felt very alone.

I still remember the feeling that night. I was so tired from the long flight, but I was not sleepy as my body clock was so confused. I was really hot and it was so humid. I turned on the air conditioner and it smelled a little strange. Everything was new and unfamiliar.

I could hear someone outside speaking in Japanese. I went out to the tiny balcony and stood in the warm summer night air. I looked around and tried to see the landscape, but all I could see was dark silhouettes of the trees. I tried to listen and understand what was being said, but it was impossible. I couldn’t even make out the topic.

The thing I remember most was my excitement. I was so happy. I was ready to learn. I was ready to study hard and become fluent in Japanese. I told myself “From now on, no more English! Only Japanese!” My motivation was high and expectations even higher.

I tried to relax and unpack a few things. I got into bed. They provided me a rented futon and a surprisingly hard pillow. It felt strange and hot. At least the bed was not too hard and I could get comfortable. I finally slept. The next morning I woke up, got ready, and left to start my new adventure.

The next 10 months were exciting, fun, challenging, and stressful. I learn a lot of Japanese. I learned a lot about myself. I learned that, even though I wanted to, I couldn’t avoid using English. I used English often. I also learned Japanese is too difficult to become fluent in just 10 months. Mostly, I learned that when I challenge myself, even though it is stressful, I feel the most satisfied and have the most fun.