During my last term at Michigan Technological University (in Houghton, Michigan),
I decided to take Japanese for fun (and to fill some credits). I had always wanted
to take Japanese (I find languages -- computer and human -- interesting), but
never really found the right circumstance. I knew it would be difficult to learn
on my own, so I took the college class. It was a great class, but because it was only
10 weeks long, it only brushed the surface. During the class, we had a visitor
from a place called "the Japan Center for Michigan Universities." He told us that
Michigan college students could go to JCMU, in Japan, and stay for 8 months (an
academic year) or 4 months (a semester) to study Japanese.|
There was a price, but he instantly gave out $1000 scholarships that could be applied
to it. I found out that I could also use my existing college scholarships to pay for
various fees. When I found that out, I made the decision in about 45 minutes! That
decision was quite a weighty one (I made the decision near the end of September), and
I spent the next few months preparing for the occasion.
Now, here I am in Japan, typing this paragraph. I now know enough Japanese to get
around, ask questions, and carry on simple conversations. I know just enough
to read some signs and labels. It's an amazing thing to study a foriegn language
in a foriegn country. I'm learning not only Japanese language and culture, but
things about myself and humanity in general. In addition to all that, it's fun!
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