To Nicole ❀ Japan waits for you ❀ From Miyu and Hiroko
Less than a week left before I fly out to Japan! I still don’t think I’ve got my head wrapped entirely around it, especially considering I still have so much to do. Stress is starting to build, and come the night of the third, I’m sure I’ll hardly be sleeping from excitement and nervousness. Plus the fact that I’ve never been away from home for more than a couple months, and I’m about to go over 11,000 miles away for five!
I’m now just trying to get everything done in the few days before I leave. I picked up my visa and Japanese Certificate of Eligibility (a document stating that someone in Japan – in my case, my school – is vouching for me to come and stay in the country) from New York City a few days ago, which turned out to be a surprisingly easy process: I’d heard stories from friends about the frustratingly long waits in both the French and Italian consulates, so I was ready to sit and wait for about four hours… and the application process probably took a total of five minutes. I waited longer to get a coffee than I did to get my visa.
I also ordered my currency (Japanese yen) and should be getting that in the mail a couple days before I fly out, which is cutting it a little close. After that, it’s just going to be a lot of packing and mentally preparing to go.
My dorm, it turns out, is across the street from the main gate of campus and after reading up on it, it looks like I’ll be about ten to fifteen minutes from any academic building. This is particularly awesome, considering how bad I am at waking up in the morning… yikes. But I’m looking forward to the dorm life, as my particular apartment gives each of the four students a single (yay!), two bathrooms, a shower room (separate), and a kitchen/living area. I will be living with three foreign students participating in the IES program (American or otherwise) and one Japanese student who currently attends the university.
But I’m most looking forward to meeting up with two of my good friends who live in Nagoya, Hiroko and Miyu. They attended Bucknell in Fall 2011/Spring 2012 and worked as Teaching Assistants for my first Japanese class; they made me the origami deer pictured above for my birthday before I even applied to study abroad, knowing that I’d always wanted to go. Miyu works very close to my school, so I’m sure I’ll be seeing her a lot!
About five days now… I can still hardly believe it.