Why I choose to study abroad

        It's been 2 years since I started school and not once did I ever regret the decision to study overseas. I do get homesick from time to time and miss my friends and family. However, the experience I got so far is irreplaceable and I finally understand why people tell you to go and study overseas. Is just totally different if you stay in one place. 

I didn't wanted to study in my hometown

     My whole education was in Singapore and I was getting sick and tired of the system. After finishing my diploma in NAFA and was working and venturing out for a few years trying to find what I wanted to do in life. I decided that I should take a degree. 

One part of the reason was that my friends were taking degrees and telling me that having one will do good in my future. Another reason is that I didn't want to just stay in one position for long and wanted to upgrade myself. 

After viewing and comparing the choices I have in Singapore and being really skeptical about it, I try to search for places that fit to my liking as well as something I was interested in. As much as I love Singapore and the food, I wanted to experience something totally new. 

One advice I will say is: If you got the chance to study overseas.. JUST GO FOR IT. Some people may never ever get a chance and I considered myself lucky that my parents agree and let me go aboard. Is a once in a lifetime opportunity and if you see it, grab it!

Embracing a whole new culture 

   One of the reasons why people choose to go aboard is experiencing a different culture first hand. Going to a Spanish restaurant doesn't let you go deep into the culture and is just at the tip of the iceberg. 
Once in the country and immerse with the people around you, you tend to feel something different. You will either love it or hate it. 

When I came to Japan, I was so excited about everything. I wanted to try everything and also see as much as I could. Once I'm here, I find ways that I can experience Japan in my own way. Since everyone experience things differently, activities like cycling around my area and going to different places open up my vision in many things. 

There is just so much more to see and experience! When you are living here, you got more time to absorb the culture and go to different places. Not just those places that tourist always goes, but where the local people hang out. Those little streets, cafes, supermarkets, local stores. The whole experience will open up your world and see how the people around you were brought up and you will compare how different it is from your own hometown. 

Living alone and being independent 

      Is not common for someone to move out of their parents house before they get married in Singapore. So living alone is a far fetched idea till one gets married or live outside of Singapore, where is cheaper to rent or buy a house. 

Before living alone, you will probably hear many stories and advice from people around you. Things that you should do, or shouldn't do and what you should take notice of. My best friend told me "You have to clean your own toilet bowl and scrub it down, Is pretty fun!". I understand those words after I came to Japan. (I made sure my toilet was scrubbed clean!) 

After moving into my new place, I had the excitement of decorating the place to something I will call home. (You can do almost anything you want without your parents judging you and saying No!) I learn how to make decisions, calculate expenses, monitor my spending and take notice of what I eat. 

These skills will benefit me in the future when I am married and have children. So I know that is a good thing that I am learning it now and master the skills before I get older. 

It may not be easy and fun all the time, there will be times when I was sick or having a bad day. Since is not easy to get Tender, loving care (TLC) when my parents or love one is so far away from me, I know I still have to make myself food and take my medication in order to be well. I notice that I need to do such thing in order to take care of myself and shouldn't be relying on other people so much sometimes. 

Getting to know myself better

Many times, you think that you know yourself and you know what you like or dislike. However, there is still much more in you that you do not know and sometimes, going to another place and experience something totally brand new will open up something you never knew that was in you. 

How would you expect yourself to grow if you are already so comfortable in the shell that you were brought up in? 

I found many new side of me and I got to know myself better. I know what I like or dislike, but I started to know what I want and What I do not want. Is not just "oh ok, maybe this will do" but more like "Yes, I only want this" 

I tried different food, went to different places. I drove on unfamiliar ground and was screaming half way when I was driving up in the mountains. However, I didn't hate it. I was enjoying myself and never knew that I love to go road trips and impromptu outings.

I also found out that I love being alone sometimes. Something that I was really afraid in the past because I felt that I needed to be with someone in order to feel comfortable or happy. I was really clingy to my boyfriend and I wanted company all the time. However, things change once I am here and I found out that eating alone has its perks and sometimes you just need that time alone for yourself. 

Doing things alone doesn't mean you are lonely, and I truly understand that now once I am here. I don't really care what people think about me and I want to live my life the way I want it to be. I want to make decisions that I know I won't regret and also do things that I actually want to do. 

Meeting new people and building lifelong Friendship

      You will meet people on the way and these strangers will soon become your friends. Is really important to have awesome people beside you when you are overseas as your family are not there for you most of the time. These people are the one you will trust the most and you will find that your friends will be there for you in the worst time when you are aboard. 

There are many times that I rely on my friends for various reasons and I cannot show how much I appreciate them. In my school, there are many just like me that comes from all parts of the world. Many times we rely on each other to give us the support we need that is the same for a family member. The love and caring that we need is covered up by friends that truly cared about on another. 

When I came to the ILA, I found out that there were many people who is just like me. Who went to study in a different place and they came from many different countries. There were Japanese students too that live aboard and came back to their hometown. 

Everyone experiences are different and I found out that we had a wide range of opinions. The place that we were brought up, shaped our thoughts and opinions and it was really interesting to know each side of every person I met. 

Many things had happened in these past 2 years, I made many friends, but I also lost friends because of unexpected events. However, I do not mop over it and told myself that it was really for the better. Since I do not want to be mixed with the people who will bring me down. Staying with people who will make you stronger and a better person is way better. 

If I never made the choice to come to Japan, I will never meet these awesome people that will mean so much to me in my life. Even if is just a short time, the time we spend together was just as much as I do with others back home. Since we are all alone here in Japan, we tend to spend more time with each other and treat each other like a family more than friends. We care and look after each other. Hope that they are safe when they got home and also get worried when they do not respond to our text messengers. 

I'm really glad that I took this chance to study in Japan and I will never ever regret this decision. I still have around 2 more years here and I keep telling myself to treasure the time left. 2 year pass so quickly and before I know it 4 years will be gone just like that! I decided to start doing more things that I have been procrastinating and stop giving myself excuses. 

Since I only have 1 life and I should make sure I am satisfied instead of wasting it!!


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