私は Caitlin です。And I have now finally arrived in my new home, Kyoto. Honestly, I came here with little expectations, but having been to Tokyo for 5 days before, I did have a bar set (especially on food). I was truly nervous beforehand, getting on the bus with luggage was a bit difficult, but after meeting a fellow exchange student on the bus, and making my way to the university to meet my “buddy”, I was already calming down. It’s so helpful having a buddy, and the international staff at the university were so polite and welcoming. Actually all Japanese people are. Yes you are a foreigner, so you will be given special treatment, but if you are staying for exchange it may actually make you feel better looked after rather than alienated. So straight away my buddy shows me to my dormitory, and omg the security guard/house keeper is the friendliest, most awesome guy ever (I already even have him on Facebook). He will do anything to help you, and explains all the rules of the dorm. If you have never been to Japan, you will soon find that everything is meticulously done here, from cooking, cleaning, presentation, clothes, manners, etc, and you will catch yourself doing the same. It’s important you keep your room neat and tidy, because I think they do inspections as well. A good thing is though, whilst I came with expectations that my room would be minuscule and cramped, it’s actually quite big (for a one person room), with shower room, toilet, kitchen and washing machine nicely fitting, and a balcony to boot. I’m really comfortable already 🙂
The first night there was already a welcome party for all the newcomers, but the great thing was that it was hosted by students who had already done a semester here, and you could see how confident and comfortable they were (and how good their Japanese was). Yes it is a little scarier when everyone actually knows each other, but be yourself and everyone will accept you. I feel like I have already made some friends who will become precious by the end of my time here, and I can’t wait to get to know them more.
So I haven’t seen much of the city yet since my dorm is so close to the uni (5 minutes walk), but everyone rides bikes here, so everything becomes closer.
In terms of food, I’m a real fan of Japanese food, and Kyoto will not let you down. There are many restaurants and convenient stores around the university and near the dorms, also a mini-department store stocks everything you need for your house, so its super convenient.
It’s so funny that whilst Japan used to seem a world away when I was in Australia, I’ve already settled down and enjoyed it so much. The people are ridiculously polite, everywhere is so neat and pretty, the food is delicious, and well, I can’t wait to tackle the language even more, and learn more Japanese!!