Shelby Heilig, '12
Kwansei Gakuin, Japan
Why did you choose to study abroad?
I chose to study abroad because of my mother’s extensive experience traveling abroad; if you open yourself up to a new place, it changes you into a more confident and understanding individual. It’s a learning experience that anyone can get so much out of.
What was the most difficult part of being in another country?
The most difficult part was the language barrier in the beginning. Sometimes there would be unintentional miscommunications that you have to work hard to undue, but it sure helps you to master the language once you dive into it headfirst!
What other comments would you like to make about your experience abroad?
If you have the chance to do it, GO SOMEWHERE! Make sacrifices, rack up a bit of debt; the experiences and knowledge you gain abroad are worth any effort it takes to get there! I can promise anyone that if they make the effort to get involved, the rewards will be ten-fold!
What were some important things you learned while abroad?
I learned how to read deeper than what a person expresses on the surface; in America most people are so easy to read because they “wear their hearts on their sleeves,” but in Japan where there is an “inside you” and an “outside you” it`s very important to be able to interpret the true meaning of something, rather than taking words and expressions at face value. I am by no means an expert, but I believe that even being able to read people a little bit more than I could before I came to Japan will serve as a valuable communications skill.
- Student News