Study Abroad: Georgetown Student in Japan

July 31, 2014

Study abroad: it’s often talked about, but seems like a challenging experience to fit in to a full college experience. Frances, a recent Pre-Med graduate of Georgetown, took a chance on a study abroad summer program in Japan.

I took a leap of faith after freshman year to go to Japan for a summer abroad, without knowing the language at all, instead of taking an internship and building my resume. My brother who had just graduated advised me to do something fun and worthwhile, as being an intern at a company when you’re just a freshman is often boring and you may not get much out of it.

I applied to International Christian University, which is located in Tokyo, Japan. This was in 2011, less than a year after the tsunami that had just occurred in Sendai, Japan. My family was worried about the possible after-shocks but I decided to go anyway. It was one of the greatest decisions I made.

I’ve always been interested in learning Japanese but I had never really thought about it. I was in a program of about 70 people, half the normal size, is due to the tsunami. We had 4 hours of intensive Japanese, followed by 2 hours of homework everyday, and an hour of one-on-one tutor with a Japanese professor every week. Although it sounds like a lot, it was a lot of fun and I left knowing conversational Japanese.

On top of that, I got to meet a lot of people from different universities from different places all over the world. There were people from USA, Hong Kong, UK, Spain and Sweden. They gave me a summer of memories that I would never forget. We travelled around Tokyo together, experiencing what it would be like to live in Japan, using the Japanese that we had just learned.

After that summer in Japan, I continued on to learn Japanese and eventually became a Japanese minor. I’ve even worked for a Japanese broadcasting network, TV Asahi, in their Washington DC bureau. I’ve learned so much about the Japanese culture and my interest in it just keeps growing. 

Read more about Frances in her AdmitSee Profile!

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