In the school year of 2011/2012 AFS Mezikulturní programy, o.s. sent 72 Czech high school students on study programs abroad. Students returned home with lot of unforgettable experiences and knowledge. Veronika also belongs among this year AFS alumnis and we are bringing you her article on life in Japan here.
Japan is a lifelong experience!
Gymnazium Jižní město, Prague
Thanks to AFS I spent whole school year in Japanese host family in Aiofutajima village and attended Yamaguchiken Sakuragaoka high school in Shunan city. My host family accepted me as their daughter and I also found another parents in them. This enabled me to gain lot of exceptional experiences.
The village where I was living in has around 200 inhabitants only. Like this I could learn about life of Japanese from other point of view than we know from mass media. They show Japanese as busy people who only mind their job. But with my family I learned to plant rice and to harvest it. I learned to work out a dough out of it which they use to make traditional rice little dumplings moci. I went on open sea to fish, I participated in many festivals and celebrations of state holidays with them. Couple of times I went to see sumó matches.
People in Japan are more than interested in the life of foreigner. In the place where I lived only being foreigner attracted lot of attention. At the school of one thousand students I was the only one with blond hair. I became a sensation, I was the centre of attention everywhere. Because I was exotic for Japanese I even received couple of offers to model. Everywhere I went people wanted to take a picture with me.
Studying in Japan gave me a lot, not only improvement of my Japanese. It was experience I will never forget. Japan will always stay in my heart as my second home where my second family is.
I recommend to everyone to study abroad. You can go anywhere the heart takes you. One year abroad gives you more than living whole year at one place.
Full version of the article and more information about AFS on www.afs.cz.