Alumni Spotlight: Sasha-Rae Moore

Third year university student, studying Japanese and Chinese language and culture.

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Why did you choose this program?

I chose KCP because it gave me ease regarding tuition cost and inclusion, as well as provided a very immersive system to enhance Japanese language proficiency. Also, being around the hub of Shinjuku, KCP is in a great area and there's always something to do. KCP is also a very renowned school so even entering in level 1, you advance further than you would in your average Japanese class in America.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My university assisted me with the everything but my airfare. Tuition cost total, room and board, meal plans and commute was all provided for me. And KCP provided support at all times. Myself, I had to organize the documents and airfare in order to complete the student application process. Regarding the Embassy, my school also helped and set up for me the necessary information so that I was listed as a student overseas in their registry.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

If you choose KCP, go with a serious mindset on learning Japanese but also take time to explore and LIVE in Japan. Also, don't be afraid to meet new people at restaurants, izakaya's, clubs, etc. In Japan, coming from America, everything is extremely inexpensive except for clothes. So enjoy as much of the food and convenience stores as you can because there's always something new you missed the last time.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The average week consisted of leaving my apartment/dorm at about 11am to catch the first train from Kasai to Otemachi. From there, I'd switch to my second and final train to Shinjuku, and study/talk with friends in the lunchroom until 1pm, when class started.

Because I was entering as level two, our classes consisted of conversation, grammar, Kanji and an essay portion in every class. In one week, you had three different teachers who had specific focuses. For example: Mon - Teacher A (grammar), Tue - Teacher B (conversation), Wed - Teacher C (essay and Kanji), Thurs - Teacher B, Fri - Teacher C.

Class then ended at 4:45pm. By then it got pretty dark outside so you could either head home to complete homework or go out to eat/hang out with friends before it became too late.

On the weekends, we would usually have a culture excursion, which included a morning lecture and an afternoon venture to a city within Tokyo as a group for full immersion.

The rest is what you make of it with new friends and experiences.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was if I would keep my shy personality and be unable to open up to people I didn't know. However, I have very good Japanese friends regardless, so with their help and with the activities completed in class to know my classmates more, I was able to open up and probably be the most verbal of my peers. Going out and enjoying Japan for what it was gave me confidence.

Is this what you really want?

Before you choose KCP or any school abroad, really think about where you want to go in the future by participating. You can think of it as an opportunity to just have fun or a stepping stone to more opportunities for your future. Not everyone gets to study abroad but those who do and dive into the new culture without fear will tell you it's an experience you choose for yourself. Is it for a future job? School credits? Personal interest? Language proficiency?

Whatever the answer, really think about it. And if you don't know at the moment then follow your gut, follow your dream or goal or interest. See what the world is for yourself, then make the decision that will change your life forever.