My name is Jedd and I am currently studying the Japanese language at our partner institution 同志社大学 (Doshisha University). From the moment I landed in Japan I immediately knew this was a country that will be very different from Australia. I took a shuttle bus from the airport through Osaka to Kyoto. I arrived at my dorm, which is located right next to the 鴨川 (The Kamogawa River), and in the shadow of 比叡山 (Mount Hiei). I live in male only dorm and everyone I have met are incredibly nice and friendly. There are people from all over the world living here, Israel, Bulgaria, The Netherlands, Switzerland etc. Due to Japanese people having a slightly different schooling year than in Australia, I was able to do a bit of sight-seeing before classes commenced. I took a train to 二条城 (Nijō Castle) and I then walked for an hour and half from Nijō Castle to the beautiful 清水寺 (Kiyomizu-dera). This temple is outstanding and has so many breath-taking views. I thoroughly enjoyed my time and the walk made this experience far more worth my while as I got to see more of the city than most people normally would.
I study on the 今出川キャンパス (Imadegawa Campus) of Doshisha. This is located directly across the road from the 京都御所 (Kyoto Imperial Palace). Due to the time of my arrival in Japan, I am on time for the Cherry Blossom season. One day I decided to take a walk to the Palace and explore around the area. While I was in the Palace grounds, I was able to spot the Cherry Blossom trees. They are incredibly beautiful. I find it hard to describe them but the best adjective I can come up with would be delicate. The flowers are so delicate and so subtle to watch. It is truly a great experience to sit beneath them and just watch them sway in the wind.
What I have learnt on this experience is to take everything as it comes. Do not stress, over-think or worry. I have learnt that I can do a lot if I just don’t doubt myself. What I have found throughout this experience is that living overseas can bring the best out in ourselves and help us to learn more about who we are. The biggest tip I could give to someone is to just be confident in yourself and know that there are a lot of people here who are in the same position as you – you’re not alone!