The mood among the exchange students was not yet brought down due to most of us leaving soon, quite the opposite actually. Everyone started to really get to know and be comfortable around each other and in between all the crunching for last minute essays and studying for the finals there were many parties, restaurant meetups and other hangouts. I was trying to finish every school assignment I had before my girlfriend arrived in Fukuoka, which I ultimately succeeded in one day before her arrival. Even though my girlfriend is Japanese she had never been to the southern island of Kyushu and when she finally arrived I had so much that I wanted to show her. We were planning to leave Fukuoka two days after my classes ended so right we still had some time in Fukuoka during the weekend for me to introduce my girlfriend to all the friends I had met.
The last day of class was filled with emotion and tears and we all knew we had made some lifelong friends and that we always had a home away from home in Fukuoka. We had a graduation ceremony where all the exchange students were handed their diplomas and we got to say goodbye to all the teachers. Many students were already leaving or had already left but there were quite enough of us to have a party filled weekend for our last days there. The last documents to the local ward office and to the school meant I still had two months left on my visa but no more studies or an apartment for that matter.
So then we set out with my girlfriend to buy a railway pass and traveled towards my girlfriend’s home prefecture of Kanagawa. On the way we went to spend a few nights at my friend’s house in Oita city, did some sightseeing in Hiroshima, went to a rock festival in Osaka and in the end arrived at in Kanagawa prefecture. There I spent my new years with my girlfriend’s family while getting to meet and get to know everyone for the first time. On the 7th of January I returned to Finland where immediately I had to begin a move to a new apartment and started my classes the next week.