So here is my last entry regarding my time studying abroad at Seiritsu, Japan.
My last month, March, was a month full of mixed emotions. I met up with lots of people from my class that I had never managed to find the chance to meet up with outside of School before, mainly because I knew I only had a few weeks left and wanted to make memories with everyone! My favourite trip was going to an Arcade called 'Round 1' with my friends Yuuna, Minami and Emilie. There was a sports centre on the roof so we played baseball, mini golf, zorb football, basketball and volleyball! We then of course took Purikura, because it seems that's what you do when you hang out with friends in Japan! They really need Purikura machines back here in England!
I had also decided to tick off what was remaining on my 'Japan bucket list' and this included seeing my favourite Singer Kradness live. I had almost given up hope on this one because tickets were fairly hard to get hold of, however my Homestay mum had a special 'Lawson convenience store' card and so managed to get hold of some tickets for me! I went with my friend Emilie and I'm so glad she came because when the singer asked the audience who had come from far away Emilie pushed me to put my hand up and yell 'England!' Whilst other fans were shouting far places in Japan such as 'Okinawa' ...when I shouted 'England' this obviously meant a lot of confused faces turned to stare at me and caused much embarassment on my part... However this singer (called luz) had a little chat to me about how amazing it was that fans could appreciate music no matter what the language.
Next on my bucket list was to have a Sleepover, however it seems that is not as normal a thing to do here in Japan and other people in my class never even really visited each others houses... However my friend from Tea Club (Yuna) invited me and Yuri to her house for a Sleepover! It was so much fun, we sat in her kotatsu and ate Shabu Shabu! [Shabu shabu is a popular Japanese hotpot of meat and vegetables - PW] Then we all read Shoujo manga up in her room which made me weirdly emotional because I realised how much my kanji reading ability had improved compared to when I started at Seiritsu!
Finally there was my last day off School. In the morning I received my certificate and a handshake from the principal. Then I started receiving many letters from people in my clubs/classes with contact details and promises to meet again. This brought on the first set of tears.... Then there was the School choir competition! I was very nervous as I had somehow ended up right in the middle and my blonde hair made me stand out a lot but luckily I knew all the words from endlessly practising the song with everyone after school! All the classes were so good and you could tell how much hard work everyone had put into they're performances. My class came 2nd!! I was so happy, it felt like all our hard work had been rewarded and it was a lovely note to go off on. However the final performance made me cry... Finally we all went up to our classroom and had some snacks and played games with a final farewell speech from Seta Sensei! I then met my friends from Tea club who gave me (a rather expensive looking) goodbye present and we all hugged and cried and it was all so happy and yet so sad! But we promised to all meet again!
I am so grateful for my stay at Seiritsu! Words can't describe it really, I've been through such a roller coaster of emotions. I really recommend taking part in a High School exchange programme to anyone interested, it has been such a rewarding experience and I have made friends for life! And I definitely have to give a big thanks to all the teachers in the International Department! You always made lessons fun and interesting and where always funny and easy to talk to and were always there for me if anything happened! Now I just can't wait to improve my Japanese at University and then I can finally talk to my friends in proper Japanese! I will definitely come back soon, be prepared!
Thanks so Much for coming, Melissa. It was a pleasure to have you here, and the very best of luck with your university life. Please come back and visit! - PW
Mel came to study and improve her Japanese for six-months on Seiritsu's Gap Studies programme, before going to university. Our programmes allow for single day group experiences, all the way up to a whole year of improving your Japanese and experiencing life in a Japanese school! Why not come and try yourself? download our application form here!