Participating in the Nagoya Summer--Language and Culture program at Nanzan University for seven weeks this past summer truly transformed my Japanese language ability and increased my confidence. Initially terrified to travel alone for the first time in my life, I was incredibly nervous, but the IES facilitators provided so much support that I was ability to immediately make friends and quickly come to call Nanzan University home. By both intensively studying Japanese and being fully immersed in Japanese culture every day I was able to improve more in my language ability then I ever could at my home university in the US. I left the program conversationally fluent and able to navigate the city by myself. I made lifelong friends with both other international students and the Japanese students at Nanzan. We still keep in touch to this day. This program made me realize just how much I love studying Japanese and has motivated me to continue to further pursue these studies.