July 5, 2015

My last day as an exchange student of Seinan Gakuin in Fukuoka

It was my last day as an exchange student of Seinan Gakuin in Fukuoka and I felt like a bit weird because I will never be a student in Japan again. I am surely going to miss the courses which are not given at my own university such as traditional culture of Japanese, calligraphy and the anime course. And of course the other exchange students, it was really nice to meet people from all over the world and learning about their culture besides Japan’s culture. Furthermore, in the morning I had to go to the university to dress in a hakama which is actually used over a kimono and is worn in occasions such as graduating from university. Putting on the hakama is kind of difficult because I am bad at tying and folding, but luckily there was a person to do this for me and the students. A group photo was made with the other exchange students, which makes for a good memory.

In the afternoon, all exchange students had to gather in a building just across the campus. The president of the university was there to hand the diplomas to the graduates. He is a foreigner from America which I did not really expect. There were also some students crying because they will have to leave Japan in a few days. However, I was pumped up because I would travel through Japan after graduating. When the diploma was handed to me I had to take a bow towards the public to show my respects. After this ceremony, it was time to celebrate at the cafeteria which was nearby.

At the cafeteria, the staff had prepared food for us! I was really happy to see it because I was hungry. There was sushi, onigiri, mochi and more Japanese snacks! Furthermore, one student of each level of Japanese did a speech. There was one guy from the beginner level of Japanese and he spoke Japanese like a pro, his speaking skills were better than mine and I am on a pre-intermediate level! I was really wondering why he stayed on the beginner level… After the speeches, there were videos which each Japanese language class had to take. These were short movies with exchange students talking in Japanese. My class did not make a video because my teacher of the Japanese class had to leave the university and was going to teach at another university in Osaka two months ago. I really thought she was a very great teacher and I was sad to see her go because I would love to learn more Japanese from her.

In the evening, I started packing all my stuff because I had to leave my dormitory within two days. There were many items that I just could not take with me, so I had to throw lots of stuff away. I did not really want to throw away my notebooks, but there was no other choice. I even had to send 15 kilograms of other valuable items I bought to the Netherlands. This definitely felt like saying goodbye to Fukuoka by throwing away stuff and leaving the dormitory. I will definitely visit Fukuoka and other places in Japan again because I really enjoyed my time here!

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