Because I’m Here for “Study” Abroad…

… let’s talk a bit about school.

Classes started two weeks ago and they’ve been going well, so far. This semester I’m taking 4 courses: Spoken Japanese 1, Reading and Writing Japanese 1, Dynamics of Modern Japan, and Intercultural Communication. Instruction language: Japanese for the first two, obviously, and English for the other two.

Japanese classes require heavy duty studying, every day, which I do every afternoon with friends in the lounge, of course:

Study tables turing into sushi-rolling tables...

The lecture courses, on the other hand, require very little to do outside of the classroom. I think all professors know that 99% of the international students prioritize travelling and experiencing Japan over coursework…. which is fairly justifiable, I think, although it defies what our  home universities call “study abroad”. I will talk about the content of each course in a later post, perhaps, but for the time being, it is sufficient to know that my two teachers, who are both American but have been living in Japan for decades, are really good and the courses themselves are really interesting, informative and quite different from what I have been studying at AUC.

“Quite different” ? D’uh… I’m in Japan!

The Kansai Gaidai campus is very beautiful, and, needless to say, is ridiculously clean. It is still quite empty though because Japanese students won’t start their school year until next week. So for the time being, you can find on campus international students, and some Japanese guys playing baseball or Japanese girls looking for  gaijin guys…

Kansai Gaidai on a sunny September morning.

I have signed up for the running club and the koto club. Both clubs are not yet in action. for running, we’re still waiting until the worst of the summer is over. I’m so looking forward to running outdoors with people, discovering new areas and seeing what’s out there with a fresh perspective, perspiring.

As for the Koto club, we’re also still waiting until the Japanese students are on campus because there are probably 1 or 2 more gaijings in the club. We’re gonna have a ball… and only then the title of this blog will be “well deserved”, if you will.

Now, let’s talk music. I miss it. Before leaving, I managed to copy a decent portion of my library on my Macbook, but that doesn’t count, does it? I mean, I am not talking about the music you listen to in the backgorund while stalking people on facebook or shopping on, I am talking about the music you listen to while doing nothing but listening. I blame it on the fact that there hasn’t been enough time, nor has there been the decent equipement. I’m planning, therefore, to go on a trip to Den Den Town and get myself a new music player and a pair of super high quality noise canceling headphones.

This will be followed by a month of self-starving.

It had been almost three weeks since I last practiced the piano when I found one I can use on campus. I had done my homework and brought my  sheet music with me, so we’re now set to get back some of that good ol’ piano practice.

The piano is located in a hall that has about 150 seats and a few vending machines. I occasionally find Japanese students there just chilling, chatting and sometimes, sleeping. I decided that the best time to go would be early in the morning when no one would be there, and since my classes start at 9 every morning, I have been going to school around 7 for the last week.

Piano and backpack...

Because practice needs hydration...

And, of course, as  a post-practice reward, I get myself:

Japanese tea!

Conclusion of the day:

“Study Abroad” is a dated term. They should change it…


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marc
    Sep 19, 2010 @ 14:07:09


    Great posts! Glad you’re enjoying your trip. Hope everything stays well and good luck.



  2. Sarah El Masry
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 02:34:12

    i love this post so much… I m so glad you are practicing piano… because when you get back I will make you refresh my memory on that 😀


  3. Khaled El Ghayesh
    Sep 24, 2010 @ 15:43:52

    Glad you found such a good Yamaha grand! Really good stuff… well not always! But a Yamaha piano in Japan should be something authentic.

    I am still waiting for this moment here… to find some 88 black and white keys where I can use!


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