Not-so-secret, last-minute vacation.

My loan was approved, I booked my flight yesterday, filled out some online forms for the school, and am just waiting for them to quote me a price so I can pay it and fall deeper into debt for the sake of my education. This is what I was alluding to earlier: I’ll be studying Japanese for six weeks at an intensive language academy in Aichi Prefecture so when I go back in the fall, I’m better equipped to function outside of the classroom (e.g. reading signs, talking to people, eavesdropping).

This decision came about in part from a recommendation given to me by someone I know in the international programs department, combined with my dissatisfaction with the speed at which my university’s Japanese program teaches. That and I just wasn’t looking forward to having nothing to do until the end of July. Going to Japan last summer had the lingering effect of making me want to get back as soon as it was feasible, and despite my spot at Aichi Shukutoku Daigaku next semester, that was too far off for me.

I’m fortunate in that I know a few people in that area. A few are former WVU exchange students who study (or studied) in Aichi prefecture, one is a former IEP student from Osaka who recently got a job in Aichi, one is a friend of mine from online gaming, and the last is the WVU student who’s currently in Aichi Shukutoku’s WVU slot. My intent is to study like a fiend, but I’ll have evenings and weekends free. I don’t think I’ll have the time to travel to Tokyo or Osaka, most likely — that’ll come next semester, if I can manage it — but I would like to see some of my friends in the area, and get the lay of the land so it’s not entirely unfamiliar come next semester.

I have a few days yet to make sure I have everything I need, charge my electronic devices, and pack, but I don’t see myself needing to take much more than clothes, sundries, and a couple little things to entertain myself (a book, a handheld game system). I’m excited and a little nervous; last year was part of a group with a predetermined plan, but this time it’s just me. Still, I intend to make the most of it!

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