Greenheart Travel 2015-2016 exchange

Growth: 9
Support: 9
Fun: 9
Housing: 9
Safety: 10

I had the desire of traveling to Japan for a year-long exchange since I was in the sixth grade, and it came to fruition when I was accepted into Greenheart Travel's program at the end of my 3rd year in high school. I studied in Tokyo, Japan for ten months during my 4th year in high school, from August 2015 to June 2016. I felt overwhelming support from my Greenheart travel coordinator, and I still stay in contact with her now, almost a full year after returning from my exchange. I felt I was adequately prepared for my experience thanks to Skype interviews with members of Greenheart Travel, and frequent email updates with packing lists, readings on culture shock, and even reverse culture shock for the time that participants returned from overseas. I would definitely recommend coordinating a study abroad through Greenheart Travel.

In regards to my exchange as a whole, it was one of the most difficult yet rewarding things that I've ever done. I have a strong relationship with one of my host families (I had two, the first who hosted me for seven months, and the second for only three), and I still contact them from time to time. I made quite a few close friends with whom I still make frequent contact. The most important thing to know is that a language barrier can be very difficult and frustrating to overcome, but it's important not to compare your speaking/comprehension ability to some one else's (especially not natives', which seems obvious but I found myself doing frequently during my exchange). Don't be afraid to speak-- you're in a foreign country to learn about said country's language and customs. If you make a mistake, learn from it, and try not to feel too embarrassed. If you aren't making mistakes, you aren't learning. And if you aren't learning, why would you be there?

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed