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Meet Pirates in Japan!

Lucas 1Lucas
Tokyo University
Academic Year 2015-2016

How has this experience impacted you personally?
Though I feel it’s pretty much a given that I would slowly become more comfortable and confident with speaking the language of the country (in this case, Japanese), I would say I have become more comfortable and confident with how I speak in general.

Do you have any advice for future study abroad students to your host country?
The best advice I can give anyone traveling here is to watch, live, and learn. How do the Japanese act when they enter a restaurant, ride a train, or even walk on the sidewalk? These are things I advise you to look out for, since other foreign exchange students and I have caused many problems for native residents when we didn’t think to simply observe.

Have you tried anything fun and different?
Tons of food (sushi and oden and such), shrine and temple visits, karaoke, game centers, hiking, museums, amusement parks; it doesn’t matter if you’ve tried them once or more before, it’s always different in another country.

What is the weirdest food you have eaten?
Raw squid, maybe? Though that isn’t all too weird, I guess. Maybe how they deep-fry whole (bone and all) little fish. It was honestly the hardest thing to take a bite out of just on concept alone.

Why did you decide to study abroad?
I’ve been interested in Japan for a very long time, and since my major (Asian Studies) allows me somewhat of free-reign as far as classes go, it seemed to be the perfect chance to satisfy two goals.

Ricky 1Ricky 
Osaka Kyoiku University
Spring Semester 2015

What has been the greatest challenge you have faced so far?
The greatest challenge for me thus far has been the language barrier between me and the other international students. Fortunately the barrier is not so bad as time has passed because my Japanese is getting a little better.
What had been the most exciting experience about studying abroad so far?
The most exciting part about studying abroad is traveling within the country and seeing new places. I have only been to different parts of Osaka and I had a blast. I'm very excited to for to opportunity to go to other key locations such as Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Tokyo!
How is life in Japan different from life in Greenville?
Life in Osaka is drastically different from life in Greenville. The biggest difference in my opinion is the mode of transportation. Before coming to Japan I can honestly say that I have never rode on a train in my life. While I was in Osaka besides walking or traveling by bike, most people get to their destination by train. I still see plenty of cars on the road; however, I do not see many parking spaces which leads me to wonder where on earth do they park them.


Academic Year 2012-2013
ISEP-Direct to Toyo University
Global Pirate 2013-2015

AlexisTell us about yourself.

My name is Alexis Williams. I am an International Business (focus on Asia) and Finance (Risk Management & Insurance) double major. I'm also a history minor. I think I'm pretty boring but my hobbies include watching anime, reading manga, (no surprise why I went to Japan), drawing, writing, traveling and taking pictures. I'd say I was laid back and easy going.

Where did you study abroad?

I studied abroad in Japan twice. Once on a summer faculty led to Kyoto with Dr. Tucker. My second trip was an academic year (Sep 2012 to Aug 2013) with ISEP-Direct to Toyo University in Tokyo.

Would you go back?

I'd go back now if I could! Tokyo was SO different from Greenville, or NC in general.

Do you have any future plans or ideas to travel abroad again?

I love traveling abroad SO much that I'm now in the process of applying for graduate schools in the UK.

How has studying abroad helped your personal or professional life?

In terms of how study abroad has helped me, it opened my eyes more. I never really thought I was Southern until I was around people that didn't speak English natively. Professionally it has given me even more ambitions to work abroad.

Do you have any advice for students interested in studying abroad?

As far as advice I can offer to those interested in studying abroad, I'd say don't let any small details stop you from going (the small details being everything). Everything will work itself out. Just enjoy the experiences and opportunities that studying abroad can bring.

Email Alexis at with any questions regarding studying in Japan.