Study abroad in Japan isn’t just an individual experience and requires that students learn to manage themselves with an awareness of the impact of their behavior on the group as whole. One of the things we both appreciated was the way this group of students worked so well together. A major theme throughout the three weeks was learning to be patient with each other as we faced various challenges individually as well as a group. We often navigated as a large group through some of the busiest train stations and intersections in the world! We would give the group high marks in this area, and were amazed by how well we all got around in the last days of the trip together.
For the final class meeting Christie asked students to reflect not only on what they had learned about the intersection of art and culture of Japan but also what they had learned about themselves. Many students said that they:
• Became more patient with others and realized how important that skill is
• Learned to be more outgoing, to be more social
• Became more independent and able to navigate on their own in an unfamiliar place,
• Became more adventurous and stepped out of their comfort zone, including trying new foods
• Learned to appreciate what they considered to be the important experiences, rather than the ones that they had so long anticipated would be important.
Thanks to all of you who have read our blog this year. We’ve appreciated your comments.