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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Nellie Liang

Chicago, IL

Major in Asian Studies, Minor in Social Service

While studying abroad in Japan, Nellie practiced Japanese sword fighting, attended festivals, and watched firework shows on campus.

Nellie Liang studying abroad in Japan.

Describe your study abroad program and why you chose that program.

My program was a student exchange program with Akita International University in Akita, Japan. I chose this program because I wanted a similar campus environment that I have at Knox, but in a new and unique environment. I wanted my study abroad experience to be in a small and quiet location where I could stay focused and still have fun.

How did Knox prepare you for study abroad?

Knox's Japanese language classes helped me be more confident and motivated me to improve my Japanese abroad.

What were some highlights while you were abroad?

I got the opportunity to meet new people, and made friends from diverse backgrounds who were from other interesting countries. When I didn't have class, I would go shopping at Aeon Mall, a 15 minute bus ride from Akita International University. I also attended campus events like the AIU festival or the free fireworks shows on campus.

What surprised you about study abroad?

What surprised me was how much my social life differed in Japan. I was more relaxed and had less stress. I was going at my own pace without pressure during my semester at school. I was spending more time outside of my dorm and exploring, which is very different from my social life in the United States.

Why do you think study abroad is so important?

Study abroad makes you step outside of your comfort zone and learn about yourself and the people around you. You dive into cultural engagement, language, and the beauty of making memories.

Photo Above: Nellie practicing Kendo (Japanese sword fighting) in Suda Hall at Akita International University.

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Printed on Friday, July 19, 2024