Hello from Japan!

Posted by Joni Montgomery in Trading Cultures. No Comments

26th May

We survived our 16+ hour flight from the United States to Japan. With only mild turbulence, we overall had an extremely easy and smooth trip. I slept only 30 minutes during our flight, so I had an easier time transitioning to the 13-hour time change. When we arrived at the Sapporo airport at 8:40 p.m., we still had an hour drive to the Rakuno Gakuen campus.

When we crawled out of the van, there was only one thing on all of our minds – a nice shower and sleep. The showers here are sugoi (awesome)! They are very large with a mirror inside them. After our refreshing showers, we headed into our rooms to hit the sack – literally. The beds in the dorm are very different than what we have in the States; but surprisingly, they are fairly comfortable when … Read More »

I Kid You Not!

Posted by Jacob King in Jake's Journal. No Comments

20th May

Some people dream of a weekend getaway with a beach and margaritas (and NO children). However, I had a weekend getaway that was nothing but children — I loved it!

My friend Aldrine, who is also studying abroad here, informed me about an opportunity to get away from the city and do something a little different. A language immersion program, EIA (English In Action), was seeking counselors to help with this camp out of the city. I had no idea that this trip would mark one of my favorite experiences here.

I told Aldrine that I wanted to jump on this opportunity and that they could sign me up. What was the job? To speak NOTHING but English to kids. I figured I could manage that. Next, we packed our bags and traveled to Brandsen. The countryside was tranquil and quiet (for the moment).

We had a … Read More »

Saying Sayonara to the States

Posted by Joni Montgomery in Trading Cultures. 1 Comment

17th May

Hello Everyone!

All six of our team members: Megan, Monica, Maria, Grace, Rob and I are leaving early on Wednesday to fly to Japan. The reality of leaving is finally sinking in – my dog is mopey, my room is a mess with my suitcase open and clothes flung all over the place and apparently my heart is the venue for a butterfly prom. This post is going to be short and sweet because I still have several things to pack and errands to run. I made a farewell video for you all, so take a look by either watching it below or by clicking the link to watch it through YouTube. Thanks for reading and next time I will write to you from Japan!

The Art of Gift Giving

Posted by Joni Montgomery in Trading Cultures. 1 Comment

9th May


This week I have been exercising my mental and artistic skills. I have finally completely (and hopefully, accurately) memorized my self-introduction in Japanese! I plan on making LOTS of friends in Japan so I have been making loads of homemade gifts. I have been utilizing my hand sewing skills to make key fobs, blacksmithing skills to make key chains/charms and woodworking skills to make pens. I never do anything halfway and my hands are reflecting this trait. I have accidentally burned and stripped off my fingerprints from making these gifts. But hey, now I can leave the country and not leave any fingerprints along my path!


My dad is an amazing woodworker and has been teaching me how to make the pens. I am using mostly American wood to make them extra memorable to my Japanese friends! Simplified, the first step … Read More »

Love, Sweet Love

Posted by Jacob King in Jake's Journal. No Comments

9th May

It’s been a stressful time in the land of Argentina. Why? Well midterms are coming up, it’s been chilly here and I’ve put a couple pounds on because of all the burgers and empanadas I keep scarfing down. Although a stressful time, one person has been there for me through it all. It might be premature but I think I’m in love.

Their name is dulce de leche.

Dulce de leche is this super sweet, custard-like cream that has a very similar taste to caramel (but better). The main ingredients are milk and sugar that get heated up and then flavoring added. The beauty of it is that this sweet treat is everywhere…. literally. It is almost impossible to find a cafe or restaurant that doesn’t have some type of dessert with dulce de leche. In the same way that the U.S. has a love … Read More »

Endings and Beginnings of Adventures

Posted by Joni Montgomery in Trading Cultures. No Comments

4th May

This past week I wrapped up my sophomore life and finished all of my classes with a bang! My finals week was filled with studying, thinking about packing – but pushing it off until my parents came, meetings, and saying sorrowful farewells. My last final was Thursday at noon — I got out at 2:00 p.m. and headed to our last Japan trip meeting. We discussed the protocol for if someone misses a flight and practiced our bowing and manners. In Japan, bowing is of the upmost importance and is a sign of respect. It is used when saying good morning or hello, when saying goodbye and when meeting someone for the first time (a larger bow). After our bowing practice, we headed to the arch to take pictures with our tutors and say our final goodbyes to them. They are returning to their … Read More »

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