College of Arts and Sciences/University of the Philippines (The Philippines)/2015/To use the approximately 10 month long study abroad program as an opportunity to conduct field work, a key methodology of Anthropology, paying attention to the relationship
What made you decide to study abroad or participate in the program?
To use the approximately 10 month long study abroad program as an opportunity to conduct field work, a key methodology of Anthropology, paying attention to the relationship between the theoretical methods I studied at Komaba and the firsthand experience gained during my time abroad.
To consider the discourse surrounding the so called “developing countries” when viewed from within such a society and to more closely and fully understand the point of view of the members of that society.
To be able to reconsider what it means to “live” through experiences which challenge and shake my feelings and emotions.
Tell us about the best experience you had during the program.
Having deeply considerate and sympathy conversations on everything from the trivial to the extraordinary with people regardless of if they were study abroad or local students. And, through these interactions to make friends.
Tell us about the hardest part of your experience abroad.
On top of living in a dorm, I became the leader of the dorm’s student group. This led to the normal pace of my interactions with others becoming unbalanced and caused me to become stressed. Furthermore, I did not deal with the stress well, and got stuck in a negative cycle.
What types of classes did you take? (if applicable)
Anthropology (Applied Anthropology, Filipino Anthropology, etc.), Regional Studies (Japan Studies, Southeast Asian Studies, etc.) Community Development, Filipino Language (Standardized Tagalog).
What were you involved in outside of class? (clubs, volunteering, internship, etc.)
As the leader of the dorm’s student group, I helped plan and put on events of various size and through these events interacted and negotiated with outside groups. Although, because of my lack of ability things did not always go smoothly, through interactions with people of varied background, gender, age, nationality, class, and character I experienced a great emotional change. This experience allowed me to be more freely open.
How do you want to make use of your experience overseas?
Although I can’t say that I have fully processed this experience, like a good novel, I want to be able to look back on my time in the Philippians, not matter how long has passed, and cherish all my entire experiences there as a single “story”.
If you give one piece of advice to students looking into educational opportunities abroad, what would it be?
Whenever you decide to do something (or decide not to do something), as general rule you should not be swayed by others opinions. On top of that, I think it is important to not be bound by your own plans and goals and instead you should always keep an open heart and not overly plan.
Any stories you would like to share?
During your time studying abroad always keep a notebook at hand to write down your thoughts and feeling in.
Recommend books related to studying abroad: Victor Turner's “The Ritual Process” and J. D. Salinger's “The Catcher in the Rye”.