I. Greetings from Nagoya, Japan!
Although the classes go at a much faster pace than I'm used to, studying the language while actually in the country is much more enriching in my opinion because learning isn't confined to the classroom. I've found that my conversational Japanese has improved immensely as I've caught myself thinking in Japanese rather than thinking in English and then struggling to verbalize a coherent translation.
Once of the reasons I chose to pursue a language program in Nagoya rather than Tokyo is because I wanted to place myself in a strictly Japanese-speaking environment. Tokyo, being the nation's capital city and most popular tourist destination, has plenty of bilingual Japanese citizens and English-speaking tourists. Alternatively, Nagoya is a mid-sized city with more opportunities to practice my language skills by virtue of fewer English-speakers. There's a lot to learn just from everyday interactions.
Next week, I plan to go visit Kyoto, the historical capital of Japan. Can't wait to see what's in store and can't wait to share it with you guys!