End of Orientation… part 2? Posted on September 7th, 2010 by

The Japanese sure love their orientations. I’ve been here for about 10 or 11 days now and it’s pretty much all been orientation. They are a very detail- and rule-oriented people, and I guess since that we’re foreigners they really want to make it sure that we get it right. Even if the power point is on the screen in front of us and the handouts are in our hands, you’ll still get it verbally read to you! You know, just for emphasis.

IES’ orientation may be over but this is the actual Nanzan one. Not all of it has been mindless intake of information. We took our placement test about a week ago and we signed up for classes today. I placed into Intensive Japanese 500, which is one below the highest level offered. I am very proud of myself! I was expecting to get into 400, and I still may be moved down with many of the upcoming placement tests in the next two weeks but we will see.

We also got to meet our host families! My host family lives about an hour’s commute from Nanzan and the house is huge. I haven’t really met all family members since everyone is busy at odd hours but I’m having fun so far.

Commuting to and from school every day reminds me just how incredible the Japanese dress, especially the females. It seems as though they put 1000% into how they dress every day, as opposed to Americans who will usually put on a shirt and pants and call it a day. Over here, it seems as if everyone is dressed to go to a photo shoot – their hair is always done up nicely and the clothes they wear is almost never as simple as a shirt and jeans. They love layering and patterns and patterns that usually wouldn’t seem to go together look perfectly fine. Oh, and heels. Heels all the time. I don’t understand how they do it! I will have to try my hand at Japanese fashion.

It’s been incredibly hot and humid lately, but tomorrow there might be a typhoon – or hurricane, as we call them in the US. I really hope not, I still have to go to school (or rather, the last day of orientation) tomorrow!



One Comment

  1. Jim Bernhardt says:

    How do you get to school? Are you taking the train? Riding a bike? If you are on public transportation, do you get a reduced price student ticket?