When I was selecting my summer study abroad program, I knew that I wanted to apply for an intensive language program. I wanted to challenge myself and try to improve my language speaking skills as quickly as possible. I knew that this would come with its own set of challenges, but I did not think that they would be so severe. However, I am grateful for the fact that the CET program has provided me with a safe environment to face these challenges.
CET students at Shinsekai: a historic shopping district.
First off, I think it is important to describe what my current program looks like. I applied for the CET Japan: Summer program. This program is an intensive language program that has me taking four hours of Japanese classes every day. The program covers a year’s worth of content in only two months. To say that this is a challenge is an understatement. Every night, without fail, there is a homework assignment. On top of this the program itself has other components such as an interview project, papers, and presentations.
I knew all this before arriving in Japan, but I did not expect it to take as heavy of a toll as it did on me. I was able to get half-way through the program before the stress of balancing assignments and social life caught up to me. Long story short, it was a hell of a few weeks, but I was able to get through it and am now more excited than ever to finish the rest of the program strong. One of the things that helped me get through this stress was the wonderful CET staff members and my fellow students.
CET students on a fieldtrip to Iga
When my stress reached its critical point, I was pleasantly surprised to receive communications from not only my fellow students, but from my teachers, and the CET staff. This was really reassuring, knowing that there were other people looking out for my well-being. Especially today, I think it is important to be able to talk about mental health and the challenges it brings. To anyone who is considering the CET program, I can say that the Fall and Spring programs are supposedly more laidback and less rushed.
CET students at the Disaster Center
I am so thankful for being able to participate in the Japan: Summer program. This was my first time abroad and it really opened my eyes to the scale of the world and the different cultures within it. It has also given me so many experiences that I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life. I will remember not only the wonderful and amazing students that I have been able to meet, but also the amazing teachers and staff that have looked out for not only me, but for the other students as well. This experience has already changed my life and I believe that it will continue to have an ever lasting impact on it.