1. K-State home
  2. »OIP
  3. »Study Abroad
  4. »student of the month
  5. »Student of the Month

Education Abroad

Jason Nowak

Hometown:  Salina, Kansas                  

Where I studied abroad: Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Aichi, Japan

Major: Computer Systems Technology

Favorite Foreign Food:  Katsudon

Favorite city/site visited while abroad: Tokyo. Everything about it was a dream come true.

My next trip is going to be to: The UK. A friend I made while abroad is getting married and she invited me to her wedding!

Advice for future study abroad students: Do everything, do everything all of the time.

Link to blog:http://jnowak17.wixsite.com/jasoninjapan

At the beginning of my trip, I truly didn't know what to expect.  I was a bit anxious, a bit scared, and a bit worried that I would be away from everything I knew.  I would find out that all of those worries were justified, however, not needed.  Right from the start everything was new and refreshing,

All of the classes I took were taught very differently than they were here.  Many of the culture courses were more interested in me parting with information and pieces of the culture than they were testing my understanding.  With this said though, the language courses, which were completely optional, were very difficult, but incredibly rewarding.  There is hardly a better feeling than going from being an outsider and having to distance yourself from social interactions, to being part of the group, and thats what my language courses gave me.

One of the best experiences I had while in Japan was going to a Hanami festival.  Hanami is a cherry blossom viewing.  Shortly after arriving, the season changed, and the cherry blossoms where in bloom everywhere.  The roads and hills were filled with seas of whites and pinks that moved with the wind, and when they began to fall, it looked like slow falling colored snow.

After coming home, I still think about two things from my trip on a regular basis.  The first is my friends.  I made incredible friends while abroad, not just Japanese friends, but friends from every country, thats what the program allowed me to do.  Luckily, I'm able to keep in contact with most of them through Facebook and whatsapp.  Number two is the food, there is so much that I miss about it.  There was sushi, and ramen, and katsudon and baked goods everywhere,  I also miss the convenience of all the vending machines all over the place.


 

After a long day staring at the cherry blossoms, my friends and I rested by the river, in the trees.

 

Studying abroad was easily the most eye opening experience I've ever had.  It gave me a chance to truly look at myself and my home from the outside, giving me a great chance to analyze who I was and why I am that way."