The End of Chapter One

As the Summer Intensive Language Course came to a close, most people left to go back to their home countries, but a few of us are sticking around for the year.  We had a grueling last three days of class, with an in class essay, then a final exam (mine took 3 hours) and then a speech.  We all said goodbye to our senseis, one who was incredibly sweet, and the other who was slightly insane.

But we were finally finished and we got to enjoy ourselves.  The three helpers in the Cultural Program Lounge put on one last activity for us: a benefit barbecue.  We paid to get delicious food out in the nature of the campus under a thunder and lightning sky, and most of our money went to help out the disaster victims.  Then on Friday after classes were officially over, we had a farewell party with everyone, and later on a large group of us headed out to an izakaya to celebrate.  Izakayas are essentially smallish restaurants known for having cheap drinks and small appetizers, mainly built for a night out with friends or winding down after a long day of work. 

Joyce and me at the campus’ farewell party.  She went back home to Hong Kong after the Summer course ended :[

At the isakaya.  Kim, me, Miranda, Joyce.

Kim is my room mate for the rest of the Summer, as well as my travel buddy!

Miranda, Joyce, Laura (also went home after the Summer course, unfortunately), and Na.

Some of our delicious foodstuffs.

I was sad to see so many great people leave, especially since after 6 weeks you finally start feeling like you’re getting to know people.  But I hope to stay in touch with at least some of them.  Now that the Summer Intensive Language Course is over, one chapter of my time abroad has ended, and I have moved onto chapter two: Summer Travels.