I will always cherish the time I went to Japan as an international exchange student. And honestly, the whole thing wasn’t really something that I planned. Before I even applied for the program, I felt so intimidated by it. Me? Study abroad? Really?? But I took a leap of faith and tried to apply, what could I lose, right?

In the end, I gained so much. I was accepted in the program and I was on my way to Japan. In my stay there, I made such good friends, I learned a new culture and came to appreciate mine further, I learned how to live independently, I learned a new language, I traveled and explored, and so much more. The people at Hokudai were so kind and accommodating. They always made sure to take care of their international students and give us the best experience possible.

By the time I left Japan, I don’t think I was the same person as when I first arrived. I had a new outlook on life. I knew myself better and I was more confident, more open, and more eager for experiences. If I could offer a piece of advice to students, I’d tell them to go on exchange. The whole thing is definitely life-changing 🙂

This is one of my favorite photos during my time there. It features the group of friends I had


Red Rivera
Exchange Student (outbound)
Hokkaido University
Spring 2017