February 7, 2011
Well, 10 months are already over and I can’t believe I’m heading home. The time I spent in Japan was fun and interesting, but of course, there were tough situations too. Mostly, these were due to struggling with the Japanese language. However, I think I got through quite well and feel very confident after this experience. I feel sad that I have to go and leave the friends I made, but I know that I will be returning in the future and seeing them again.
I had many experiences here in Japan and it's quite hard to single out the best one of them all. Perhaps the happiest moment I had, was passing my belt test in karate. While still being a beginner, it feels like a monumental accomplishment. Of course, the time spent with my host family was very fun and I thank them for having taken care of me through these 10 months. Many exchange students live with several families during their time here but I was lucky to have the same one throughout and grow a deep relationship with them. My only regret is that I had more time to travel around other areas of Japan. I’m sure this will be a goal of mine for next time but for now, it’s back to the freezing cold of Finland.
With thanks, Matti Julius Ketonen