My one year study abroad in Japan, Nara, Nara University of Education (Kaja Mlakar)

I got to go to Japan with the MEXT one year undergraduate scholarship. It gives you the chance to study in Japan for a year at a university of your choice, plus you get a plane ticket to and from Japan and a monthly scholarship. Basically it is the perfect package. Writing my thoughts and impressions about my one year stay in Japan is way harder than what I first imagined. A year may not seem like a long period of time, and it did pass with lightning speed but when one tries to summarize it you realize just how many things happened in one year. A lot of ups and downs, new experiences, new people, new feelings. Everything is new.

The most logical thing to start off with would be to tell you a little bit about the university that I attended for a year. It’s a small university with about 2000 students all together, so when compared let’s say for example with Tsukuba university, it is really really tiny. The campus is not all that huge as well, but it has a really lovely feel to it. It is a wonderful place. Our teachers were really nice, and were on really good terms with all of the exchange students. There were only about 30 of us but really I found that a small number was a really good thing. All of us got on very well and were really good friends by the end of the one year study. The classes were nice as well, we had our compulsory subjects, where we learned various things about Japan (culture, religion) and studied Japanese. But we could also choose subjects that were originally meant for Japanese students, but if our Japanese was sufficient, one could with no problem join all kinds of classes. From Korean and Chinese, literature to biology. They have a built a good program for exchange students that gives a lot of options. All of the exchange students stayed in dorms. You had your own room that came with a toilet room. The kitchen, showers and laundry machines were used together. We had a lot of excursions organized and got to see and study a lot of things about Japan. But in the end the thing that helps you most with your studies is just being in Japan, getting to know the culture and the every day life. Our university allowed the exchange students to join club activities (I have heard that that is not possible at all universities). And joining a club is a very good opportunity to talk with and get to know Japanese people. They do tend to be a bit shy so creating opportunities by yourself is the way to go. I have joined the japanese archery club and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I made a lot of good friends (Japanese and exchange students) and fell in love with japanese archery. We had practice three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Mondays and Wednesday usually for about 4 hours and on Saturdays from 8.00am to 6.00pm or even longer. But in the end I ended up coming to the dojo everyday, either to practice, eat lunch with everyone or just when I felt a bit lonely. It became a great part of my life while living in Japan and I can say it was amazing. It was a gateway into the actual Japanese culture, and everyday I learned something new. Either be it new words or a new part of the senpai-kohai relationship. We also got the chance to go to a lot of matches which meant meeting new people from other universities in Japan. In the end I even got to play in the 全日which is the biggest »match« in which all of the universities in Japan show their skill in kyudo.

In the end this one year shall remain in my mind as one of the best years of my life forever. It did feel lonely at times and I felt a bit homesick, but I think everyone does, it’s a natural part of being away from your family and friends. But it goes away quickly, it never lingers around for too long. I would recommend the program to everyone because it seriously is such a great experience that can’t be replaced by anything. Even if it’s for a month or two or if it’s for a year, take the chance if you have it, because I guarantee you that you will not regret going.

Kaja Mlakar_01Kaja Mlakar_02

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Izmenjava na Japonskem (Matjaž Borič)

To poročilo pišem po povratku iz Japonske, kjer sem se udeležil 6-tedenskega programa v Osaki, ki ga prireja “The Japan Foundation”, oz. Japonska fundacija. Odločil sem se, da bom poročilo napisal v slovenskem jeziku, saj upam, da bo doseglo čim širše občinstvo, v katerem se morda tudi najde posameznik ali dva, ki si želita študirati na Japonskem, a še nista prepričana, ali sta temu kos. Vsem, ki to poročilo berete toplo priporočam, če ste se odločili, da se boste udeležili vsaj ene izmenjave na Japonskem, da se udeležite izmenjave, ki jo pripravlja Japonska fundacija.

Kot sem že omenil sem bil na 6-tedenski izmenjavi v Osaki, bolj natančno na Centru Japonske fundacije v Kansai-ju. (The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai)

Center Japonske fundacije se nahaja v mestu Rinku Town. Rinku Town je od letališča oddaljen 5 minut vožnje z vlakom in 7 minut vožnje z avtobusom. Od centra Osake je oddaljen približno 40 minut, če se odločite potovati z vlakom. Ker imate vse vikende proste je to super lokacija, saj ste praktično na sredini Japonske, z lahkoto lahko obiščete Hirošimo, Kyoto, Kobe in z malo truda tudi Tokyo. Mogoče je le vredno omeniti, da so cene javnega transporta na daljše razdalje dokaj visoke. Za krajše destinacije si lahko na Centru brezplačno sposodite kolo. V okolici je tudi veliko trgovin s knjigami in elektroniko, tako da se ne bojte, da bi bili izolirano. Rinku Town je zelo lepo mesto in iz sobe sem mel pogled na morje, kar še vedno pogrešam vsako dan odkar sem se vrnil v Slovenijo.

Program je imel štipendijo, ki je krila praktično vse možne stroške, od letalske karte in nastanitve v študentskem domu, do hrane. Sam program se je osredotočal na učenje uporabe japonskega jezika. Namen programa ni bil, da nas cele dni učijo japonskih pismenk in slovnice, ampak da se naučimo dosedaj nabrano znanje dejansko uporabiti. V ta namen smo imeli predavanja, ekskurzije, obisk na domu družine ipd. Predavanja so bila razdeljena na 3 dele in sicer na diskusijo, pripravo na govorne nastope in intervju, pri katerem smo imeli možnost intervjujati prebivalce mesta o katerikoli temi, ki smo si jo predhodno izbrali. Ekskurzije so nas peljale dvakrat v Kyoto in enkrat v Kobe, kjer smo se družili s tamkajšnimi študenti na lokanlih fakultetah in obiskovali znamenitosti kot so kinkaku-ji (金閣寺) – Zlati paviljon ipd.

Tekom programa smo velikokrat naleteli na starejše kolege, ki so prav tako študirali na istem ali podobnih programih. Vsi se teh programov spominjajo kot verjetno najboljša dogodivščina in izmenjava, saj je dobesedno za vse poskrbljeno in vas mora skrbeti le za učenje. Nekdanji študenti so Center enostavno poimenovali tengoku (天国) – nebesa.

Profesorji so zelo prijazni in vam bodo, tako kot so nam, poskušali pomagati pri prav vsaki stvari. Odnosi so zelo korektni in prijazni, nikoli nisem imel nobenih pripomb na kogarkoli. Večino časa sem imel občutek, da se skupaj s študenti in profesorji borimo proti japonskem jeziku in tudi zmagujemo.

Ker nočem preveč nakladati, vam za konec samo še svetujem, da s seboj vzamete le najnujnejše stvari, kar je večinoma obleka. Če se na izmenjavo odpravljate pozimi, si zapomnite, da v Osaki redko sneži, zato ne rabite nekakšne ekstremne opreme, le dobro jakno. Celotna klima namreč zelo spominja na naš Piran. Na Japonskem boste sigurno kupili na tone knjig, okraskov itd., tako da pustite kovček prazen in ga raje napolnite pred povratkom. Še enkrat, iskreno vam priporočam ta program.

Matjaz Boric_02 Matjaz Boric_01

Obisk Japonske (Petra Jaklin)

大阪の国際センターの6週間の交流のなかでいろいろなことを経験しました。日本語だけではなく、日本人の日常生活、日本人の考え方、習慣、祭り、食べ物、遊び、ファッションなどです。私はいつも日本のドラマを見たり雑誌を読んだりするので日本人の生活をよく知っていると思っていました。しかし、日本に来た後で私は思ったより日本のことをしらないと分かりました。やはり、テレビやネットで学んだことと現実は全く違いますよね。

日本人の日常生活と言えば、研修旅行のときに多くのことを経験しました。というのは、いろいろな物事を自分の目で見ると分かりやすいからです。東京、京都、奈良、神戸へ行ったときに初めて、授業で勉強したことや写真で見たことをやっと自分の目で見られました。これらの景色を写真で見たけど本物は最も美しいと思いました。

もちろん、遊びだけではありませんでした。このプログラムに申し込んだ目的は二つありました。

まず、日本語の会話を日本人と練習したかったことです。私は話すのが大好きで新しい友達を作るのも好きです。日本人とうまく話せるために自分の日本語を上達したほうがいいという信念を持っています。ですから、このプログラムに参加しているといつでも、誰でも、何についてでも日本語で話せたので、本当に夢のような機会でした。さらに、たくさんの優しい日本人と話したり、すてきなホームビジット家族に会ったり、おおぜいの新しい友達が出来たりして感謝しています。授業の外だけではなくて、授業のときもよく日本語を使うようにして先生が私の話し方を直してくれたのでとてもよかったです。

二つ目の目的は日本へ行きたかったということです。私はもう大学三年生になったのに日本へ行ったことがありませんでした。なので卒業するまでに日本の経験したほうがいいと考えました。

最後に、このプログラムで出会ったある学生は私より豊富な語彙を持っていました。なので、今から日本語をもっと勉強して上手になりたいです。そして、今から日本語をもっと上手になりたいです。上手になるようにもっと頑張って勉強します。 この交流の前にはモチベーションがだんだん低くなっていきましたが、帰国するとやる気がまた戻ってきて前よりもっと色々知りたくなりました。残念だったことは、交流の前はいつも成績や勉強、つまり義務だと考えていたので、日本語がますます楽しくなくなりました。しかし、今はもう一度日本語の勉強を楽しみにしています!なぜなら、将来い日本の大学で留学したいので、これからその新しい目標のために一生懸命頑張ります。

Petra Jaklin_01