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[YRP Students' Essays] Study Abroad in My Home Country

I'm studying at Sophia University in Tokyo today as an exchange student. However, I'm Japanese. Everyone asked me where I am from? Why didn't you study abroad anywhere else? I think to myself sometimes that why I chose to study in my home country instead of some other country where I can explore and see a different world. Well, it is because this opportunity is considered the time for me to think about my future. If I choose to work in my home country, I obviously have to live in Japan as this study abroad session is considered a perfect time for me to experience living in my home country. I was born in Japan. I moved to the United States when I was three years old as my father had to go through company transfer. We were only going to stay there for a couple years, but my father chose to quit his job so he could stay in the United States as he made a commitment to raise the kids (Me and two brothers) in the US. My father switched his job to become an author and he is doing very well as every year consistently, more people are buying his books. I read them too. They are very wonderful. His name is Akihiko Reizei if anyone is interested to read my father's books.

So I was raised in the States for 16 years as I went through first year of college in University of Miami. I am in my sophomore year of college as I am 19 years old. Someone also asked me the question of why I am studying abroad early. Well this is also to make an option for me to transfer to Japan if I enjoy the culture of my home country. This is similar to my dad's situation when he chose to stay in the US instead of going back to Japan to work. It has been three months I have lived in Japan and yes, I am enjoying myself. However, it would be difficult to choose Miami or Tokyo for the rest of my college career.

The things I like about Japan compared to the United States is the fact that there is wonderful food served for everyone and the city lifestyle. I do like the city as there are many things to do for me and my friends. Karaoke is one activity that I enjoy, as they don't have that many karaoke bars in the States, and in this country there is a karaoke bar everywhere. I enjoy every minute there. I also like traveling around my home country as I have gone to Kamakura and Odaiba which are known areas near Tokyo. I am planning to go to Hiroshima soon with a couple of my friends and I look forward to learning many things over there and enjoying myself at the same time.

No country is perfect. Even Japan. Tokyo is very expensive and that can cause me to move back to the States. Everyday, I constantly spend money on something like food and transportation and who knows what. Every foreigner I know that lives here is frustrated about the money issues here. They enjoy Japan, but the money situation makes them sad and it does me too.

I can say that this is a wonderful experience for me to live in my own country. I do miss the United States. I miss my family. I miss my friends. However, the Japan experience is going well for me and hopefully this year can help me in my future.

Child Research Net would like to thank Yoshio Maeda, student and author, for contributing this article to the CRN web site.

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