The semester is coming to an end and soon I will be back in Austria, and soon after back at the FH Wiener Neustadt. Right now, however, I am still in Osaka, Japan, where I have been studying this semester.
Kansai Gaidai offers a well-organised, refined programme for its international students. This includes an orientation week, during which important issues concerning living in Japan are touched upon, various cultural events and trips, enabling students to familiarise themselves with Japanese culture and last but not least lecture courses related to the respective majors as well as Japanese courses. Local professors and students visibly enjoy working and spending time with international students, which has made this stay a very good one. My semester in Japan has been such a great experience not only because of the travelling in Japan and Korea I was able to do, which allowed me to get to know the cuisine, culture, language and people, but also because it was incredibly enriching to spend four months in another country.
It was definitely challenging to become accustomed to certain cultural differences and also to overcome the language barrier. Those “difficulties”, however, are what make an exchange semester so valuable. Being confronted with new challenges, being able to assert yourself and learn new things about others and yourself are all part of that. To anybody who has the chance to spend time in another country, I would definitely recommend taking it. The only condition you need to meet in order to make your semester abroad a successful one, is your willingness to constantly learn something new.