Wow, I have been home in Sweden for seven weeks for summer vacation. Time has just rushed away, and in four days I’m heading back to Japan. So yes, pre – arrival stress with VISA’s, tickets, and documents that need to be handed in at both Malmö University and Ritsumeikan University. However, I feel calmer since I already spent one semester in Japan. So, I was thinking to give you little information about Japan and the city Kyoto that I’m living in!
Kyoto is the old capital of Japan, and it is deeply rooted as being the cultural heritage of Japan. There are more than hundred of temples and the atmosphere in the city is, hmm how should I explain it… The first word that comes up in my mind is spiritual, but that’s not really accurate, but it’s neither religious it’s just very peaceful and quiet, which can be frustrating sometimes, I’m not going to lie. However, it is really beautiful and my dorm is located right beside a bamboo forest and mountains, and it takes me approximately 15 minutes to bike to my campus. Well it depends, it’s SUPER hilly in Kyoto and sometimes you just have to walk up those mountains 😉
They have (I think) 3 campuses so far, I however only spent time at two of them, Kinugasa, and Biwako- Kusatso Campus (BKC) in Shiga. BKC campus is an hour away with bus or train. It is really different from Malmö University, and only at Kinugasa there are 20. 000 students, and we all have lunch at the same time, yes you probably can imagine the lunch lines and people everywhere. You have classes from 9. Am – 21. Pm. Not everyday but in general it is long days and attendance is mandatory.
A HUGE surprise when I arrived last semester was that Japanese people don’t know any English. I am usually really relaxed when travelling around the world and solve the problems as they occur, but I was not prepared at all that they weren’t able to even say Hello in English. So that became a huge culture chock for me, and during my whole stay you just have to accept that you are alienage from the Japanese society. So I therefore decided to take Japanese classes, which helped to a certain degree and you could survive in daily situations, such as going to the supermarket, public transportations, restaurants and so on and so forth.
My first weeks before school started we were visiting several temples and cultural heritages and the cherry blossom viewings (Sakura) was going on, so I got to experience amazing places and meet other international students from all over the world. It was a great experience, and I still have contact with some people around the world, and I’m looking forward to meet 120 new students from other partner universities this semester.
I will keep you posted.
Dozo Yoroshiku Ongeaishimasu 🙂