Sunday, July 14, 2013

Japan [Day 4-6]: Nagoya [Part II: Nanzan University]

Thank you for watching. -S.Y.

I made this for students thinking about studying abroad in Japan. There are a few different options for George Washington University students, and I chose Nanzan University in Nagoya. 

My professor recommended that I study abroad at Nanzan if I was serious about learning the language because it would provide me with a setting with fewer temptations to speak in English. He was correct.

I already made a video about Nagoya, and how I totally did not expected such a metropolitan atmosphere. However, in this video, I want to focus on my experience at Nanzan University.

If there is one piece of advice I would like to share, it would be get to know your professors. I guess I can extend that to, "get to know people." During my fall semester at Nanzan University, I took a Japanese Culture and Art class, in which the professor owned his own pottery studio. In the beginning part of the semester, he offered an invitation to any student who would like to come and see. I'm not sure if he was just offering out of politeness, but regardless, I asked if I could come. His studio was in Japan's historical pottery district called Seto City. The atmosphere was so different from the rush of Nagoya Station. As I spun pottery up in the mountains somewhere for hours, I was able to feel a different, more traditional, side of Japan. 

I spun pottery for the first time, and my professor offered to fire them and send it to the States to me. Fortunately, I was able to return this summer, and I received what I had created 8 months ago. 

November 2012
November 2012

Summer 2013
Summer 2013

Reunited with my Nanzan Professors - Summer 2013
Japanese Language Professors Summer 2013 
Japanese Culture and Art Professor Summer 2013

Reunited with my Nanzan Friends - Summer 2013
Photos by: Soohyun Yang

Right before leaving Nanzan University, I told my friends that I will not cry because I know that I will return. I actually had no clear idea of how I would return. My friends Yuka and Kahono actually visited me in Washington D.C. It was nice to be able to share apart of myself to my friends from Japan.

I've always had a difficult time understanding the workings of cultural exchange because there is no set path after the first exchange that promises that you will meet again or use your experiences to directly influence your career path. However, I can definitely say that I have felt the impact of my experience at Nanzan University, especially by the people I have met. I realize now that the difficulty comes from trying to rely to someone else the experience. Although my attempt to capture a sense of these moments is anything but extraordinary, I would like to make my small contribution to show appreciation for the opportunities I have been given. Thank you Sigur Center.

Soohyun Yang
B.A. International Economics and Japanese Language and Literature 2014
Sigur Center 2013 Japanese Language Fellow
Sendagaya Japanese Institute, Japan

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