[Caution: This post contains lots of bad jokes and blabbling. #nohatepls]
I remember how, during my last two, three years at high school, I got hooked on all those youtube channels by “foreigners” (mostly American, British, Canadian guys and girls) living and working in Japan. Every day, I’d watch people like Micaela, Sharla, Rachel and Jun, HannahinJapana and so on and so forth, the list goes on forever, and I’d be so jealous of them and their seemingly perfect lives in seemingly perfect, wonderful Japan. Whilst always wishing that my life would be like theirs at some point.
Okay, that sounds kind of crazy and unhealthy and obsessed, I know, but I was seriously so, so stuck on the idea of moving to Japan, to do an extra year of high school (because apparently that’s possible nowadays) or study at a Japanese university or teach English or whatever. All that didn’t matter as long as I got to Japan.
Well, now I’m more mature
(or well, I like to pretend like I am) and much wiser -… pfft, no, and I know that Japan, while undoubtedly very beautiful, is not perfect unicorn land. Every country has its problems and Japan is certainly no exception. Living there has its flaws, too, I’m sure. Whatever the above mentioned Youtubers show and talk about in their videos is only a minuscule part of the story. Still, that didn’t – doesn’t – change the fact that I still want to move to Japan for at least a few months and try living there for a while. To learn the language, to learn more about Japanese society, to learn more about the customs and general way of life there. And now, that dream is finally about to come true.
One of the biggest reasons why I decided to apply to the International Studies program at Leiden University is because it offers its students the possibility of studying abroad for one semester (equal to about five months) – given that a certain minimum average is obtained and all first year courses are passed. Fortunately, I managed to fulfill these requirements,
although I was very close to failing that stupid Academic English course because I yolo-ed it so hard I ended up knowing only one question out of 30 or 40 on the multiple choice exam, but hrm hrm, that’s in the past. Heh.
But ANYWAY, so I passed everything and stuff and I applied. I was allowed to choose three universities to apply to: I chose Doshisha University, Waseda University, Sophia University. I applied near the end of 2015, on the last day of November
(which was also the deadline, but pfft, I live life dangerously) and I found out, like, two or three weeks later in December that I had gotten my first choice, Doshisha University in Kyoto. YAY. HURRAY.
But while Leiden University had accepted me and had granted me my first choice, Doshisha University itself had still to actually acknowledge my existence. So Leiden University had to nominate me to Doshisha, and then Doshisha had to accept me. And then Doshisha had to send me an application package which I had to complete which, by the way, took me 234761823701 years
(or longer) to fill out because I had to do 5000 things, including a stupid, unnecessary, unhelpful health check that lasted, like, twenty minutes and consisted of me looking at miniature animals painted on a wall ten metres away and naming the animals and telling my doctor that, no, I do not have this super dangerous, contagious, terminal disease and no, I don’t smoke and drink and do drugs and blabla, you get the idea … and that still ended up costing almost a hundred euros. The pain. *Cries tears of blood*
Eventually the application package was completed and then sent to Doshisha. After that, a long wait. Then, a reply from Doshisha that they had received everything and everything was in good order, except for one additional document they needed that I had to get from my dad who had to get it from his bank and blabla. Complications, complications. But eventually everything worked out, Doshisha confirmed that they had received all the documents and would start processing my application.
More waiting. About a month ago, in June, I received my official acceptance letter to Doshisha University. And more waiting. Yesterday, then, I received my Certificate of Eligibility, which enabled me to go to the Japanese consulate and apply for a visa. MORE HURRAY AND YAY. I also received information on the dormitory I was placed in and found out that I got the Richard’s House where apparently each room has its own private little bathroom and kitchenette … which is super awesome. Or well, at least that’s what I read on the internet (on this awesome blog by Kira Okamoto). I plan on doing a blog post on what the room is actually like once I get there.
So yeah. It’s really actually truly happening, I’m finally going to be in Japan. Really live there – even if it’s only for five months, it’s still going to be a very different experience than going to Japan as a tourist. I’m excited beyond words, so excited that I don’t even really know how to be excited yet and what to do with myself. At the same time, I’m incredibly nervous because there is so much left to do, like studying Japanese and preparing myself for the Japanese class placement test that is taking place one week after my arrival in Kyoto. And taking care of all the paperwork. And buying all the things I’ll be taking with me.
So yeah, TLDR: it’s really happening, it seems. I’m really going to Kyoto in, like, a month. And there’s still a lot to take care of. But it’s all going to work out in the end … I hope. Anyways, if you have read this far, thank you very much and I’ll see you in the next post, which will hopefully be a bit more interesting. Buhbye.