Just recently I have spent an incredible 3 weeks in Japan as part of the Saga University Autumn Program 2017. Saga is a quieter area of Japan, located near the countryside, which allowed me to experience a different side of Japan.
Joined by four other UTS students we participated in many aspects of traditional Japanese culture such as tea ceremony, yosakoi and nishikiori. We also got to explore nearby shrines and castles.
I was fortunate enough to participate in a one-night homestay experience with a lovely family of 7. Initially it was difficult to communicate, however this enabled me to truly practice my Japanese speaking and listening ability and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
My greatest take away from this experience would be the friendships I made in this program, both with the Japanese students and the other Australian participants. I have formed relationships not only on the basis of friendship but also with the intention of improving our language skills.
I would highly recommend anyone to get involved with this program as you can learn a lot about traditional Japan and form lasting relationships.
Jessa Mae Balayboa