Written by Morgan Stone, (Texas Tech University) Student Correspondent CET Japan, Fall 2016
When I left Osaka this morning, it was raining, just like when I arrived. My time in Japan is over now, but I will never be able to forget the experiences and friends I made while studying there. Just like arrival, too, leaving was fast. Starting the day of the final exam, and for the next one and a half days, the ryuugakusei would be returning to their countries, and the Japanese housemates to their families for the winter break. However, everyone made sure the last few days celebrated our time together!
The CET Farewell party was held on campus, and everyone dressed their best! There was food, slideshows, student-made videos (Including an aikido demonstration by a fellow classmate and myself), songs, speeches, and many, many pictures. The party served as a closer for the semester and the CET program, but everyone uses it to show off what they’ve learned! After the party, most of the roommates and ryuugakusei went to have dinner together, sharing stories and celebrating in our own way.
This morning, I was one of the two ryuugakusei left. We put finishing touches on cleaning the house we share, and after room check, joined the remaining guys from the house down the street and went to the curry place by the station for one last meal together. Everyone yelled “itadekimasu!” at the top of their lungs, and we happily told (embarrassing) stories about each other before it was time to go to the station, and our separate ways. Of course, we made sure to take one last picture on the platform.
I was incredibly lucky to have one of my housemates come with me to the airport to see me off. Though I was stressed about my flights, she remained optimistic, and promised she would come to America to study abroad (even if it wasn’t Texas). As we hugged goodbye, I made her promise to keep studying English, so the next time we met, I would be the one showing her around. This semester with CET has been challenging, but rewarding to say the least. If you ever plan on doing something like this, DO IT! There is no way you will regret it. Soak up the foreign culture, enjoy the people, see the sights, and most importantly, learn to your heart’s content. Not just academics, but anything that comes your way.
That said, here are a few tips for when it is time to leave:
- See That One Last Place
Is there somewhere you haven’t gotten to see yet? Make sure you go. In my case, it was Nara Park and Todaiji Temple. When classwork gets buys, it can be easy to put things like that off. It doesn’t have to be to a new place, though. Perhaps indulge in a last trip to your favorite onsen or sushi spot.
- Write Letters
Give your roommates and Japanese friends letters, or your contact info. I received a few from my roommates, and it means much more to me than I thought it would. They will appreciate the thought, I promise.