I am an exchange student

This was in the most recent AFS newsletter, and I thought it was cool, so I’ll share it with you ^_^

I am an EXCHANGE STUDENT.
How do you know what is a DREAM if you never accomplished one?
How do you know what is an ADVENTURE if you never took part in one?
How do you know what is ANGUISH if you never said goodbye to your family and friends with your eyes full of tears?
How do you know what is BEING DESPERATE, if you never arrived in a place alone and could not understand a word of what everyone else was saying?
How do you know what is DIVERSITY if you never lived under the same roof with people from all over the world?
How do you know what is TOLERANCE, if you never had to get used to something different even if you didn’t like it?
How do you know what is AUTONOMY, if you never had the chance to decide something by yourself?
How do you know what it means to GROW UP, if you never stopped being a child to start a new course?
How do you know what is to BE HELPLESS, if you never wanted to hug someone and had a computer screen to prevent you from doing it?
How do you know what is DISTANCE, if you never, looking at a map, said “I am so far away”?
How do you know what is a LANGUAGE, if you never had to learn one to make friends?
How do you know what is PATRIOTISM, if you never shouted “I love my country” holding a flag in your hands?
How do you know what is the TRUE REALITY, if you never had the chance to see a lot of them to make one?
How do you know what is an OPPORTUNITY, if you never caught one?
How do you know what is PRIDE, if you never experienced it for yourself at realizing how much you have accomplished?
How do you know what is to SEIZE THE DAY, if you never saw the time running so fast.
How do you know what is a FRIEND, if the circumstances never showed you the true ones.
How do you know what is a FAMILY, if you never had one that supported you unconditionally?
How do you know what are BORDERS, if you never crossed yours, to see what there was on the other side?
How do you know what is IMAGINATION, if you never thought about the moment when you would go back home?
How do you KNOW THE WORLD, if you have never been an exchange student?

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Goals, Expectations and Want-to-do’s for the year ahead

So I stole this idea from Isabelle’s blog. Here I’ll write some things I want to achieve while I’m in Japan next year, some things I hope will happen and some stuff I want to do. It’ll be under the Other Stuff category, because..uh, that’s where I want to put it. The idea is that I’ll come back to it after I return to New Zealand and update it, or make a follow up post on what things actually did happen from my list, and what things didn’t. Enjoy!

The List! (dun dun dunnn)
Next/this year in Japan I want to…

  • Become fluent in Japanese speaking and writing (Hirigana and Katakana and some Kanji)
  • At least pass my exams in school
  • Make lots of new friends-for-life
  • Become a part of Japanese culture
  • Have my host family become like my own family
  • ‘Discover’ myself and become a more mature person
  • Develop a Japanese-like personality and fashion sense (in other words have a kind of personality change)
  • Be able to sit on my knees without trouble for  a long time
  • Be able to use chopsticks flawlessly and skilfully
  • Go to an Onsen
  • Wear a Japanese School uniform
  • Learn to spin my pen in my fingers like a ninja
  • Learn how to make awesome Origami
  • Experience the Japanese school opening ceremony
  • Have an awesome 17th birthday in Japan
  • See the Sakura trees in spring
  • Go to Japanese festivals and ceremonies
  • Wear a Yukata/Kimono
  • Visit a Shrine or Temple, maybe in the mountains? With the beautiful relaxing gardens where you can meditate..
  • Do lots of little traditional Japanese things like writing a wish on paper and tying it outside a temple at the new years (that might be way off but you know what I mean)
  • Go to Harajuku and Shinjuku (they have the Square Enix head office there ahhhh!!)
  • Buy heaps of clothes
  • Buy heaps of manga and anime. In Japanese. And be able to read and watch it. In Japanese.
  • Buy heaps of other stuff. Just stuff in general. I mean, the minimum spending money I take is $5,000 so…
  • Travel around Japan and see the beautiful scenery. And take a gazillion pictures.
  • Go skiing
  • Eat lots of weird and wonderful food and develop a taste and knowledge for it
  • Continue learning Judo. Maybe get a grade higher? Although I hear the Judo here is like Preschool compared to the Judo there..
  • If I can’t learn Judo, take up a different Japanese sport.
  • Have a good looking cross-dressing Japanese Boyfriend~ (okay that one was an inside joke). But a girl can dream right? (without the cross-dressing part that is) >___<“
  • Sleep on a Futon and eat from a table that you kneel at (I hope my host family’s house will be like this – they probably will have the low table but maybe not the Futon – but if not I hope I can live like this at least once. Experience some real traditional Japanese culture..or something)
  • Go to an Anime or Manga or Cosplaying convention
  • Become knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Japanese Pop/Rock music
  • Go to a concert? That would be seriously awesome.
  • Become familiar with Tokyo (somewhat)..well I’ll be there for school everyday anyway..

Quite a long list..hmm..well I’ll update it whenever I think of something new. And I hope all this stuff can happen! ~(^o^)~
Things I’ve added or edited after posting this will be highlighed in red ^^