2. Just starting to hit me (1/8/2019)

My feelings before departure

Comparing the feelings I’m having now to back in 2015 when going on exchange to the US for a whole year, I’m way calmer and feeling neutral about going through this again. I was about crying all the time four years ago for two weeks before leaving as I was starting to miss my family and friends, and I was still in Finland! Of course the duration of the exchange is now 7 months shorter which is making this way easier. But now it’s more like meh, I know kinda what to expect. But to those who are considering going on exchange for the first time, it’s very normal to be feeling stressed and sad before the departure. And the culture shock, but more importantly the reverse culture shock are very real things that happen to most people. For me coming back to Finland after a year abroad was way worse.

But now with such little time left I’m starting to feel a bit stressed again, thinking who I should see before leaving and which things have to be done before I leave. I’m not really afraid of flying or traveling, even less now when it’s a straight flight to Tokyo and to Fukuoka from there. I’m just very excited to be able to experience a new culture again and to meet new people. Oh and the food, I can’t wait for the Japanese food! I’ll try and make sure that I try as many new and crazy foods as possible.

Oh and the part that I’m going to be living in a studio apartment by myself is very exciting. The apartment is part of the school’s dormitory, a five-minute walk away from the university. The rent is about the same as studio apartments would be in Finland but they include so much. Thank god I was able to get a subtentant to my Finnish apartment, I think I would’ve been able to pay both rents but I really don’t wanna live in Japan eating packed ramen noodles. Although they might be way better in there but still.

– Emma