Why Study Abroad?

March 23rd, 2015, Blog by Muhammed Saleh, Computer Science and Software Engineering, Osaka University Exchange

On March 31st I will be catching my flight to begin my semester abroad at Osaka University in Japan. With my trip just a week away, I thought I would share what lead to me to pursue study abroad and why I chose to study at Osaka University.

In high school I began studying Japanese, and I developed an interest in the language and culture; however, I quickly learned that language learning in a classroom setting has its limitations. I dreamed of becoming fluent in Japanese, but I knew I would never be able to do so without spending some time studying the language in Japan. In order to achieve fluency in Japanese, study abroad was always something I wanted to try, but it was also something I never truly believed I would have time for. I feel like there’s a general misconception that study abroad is a waste of time, and initially I didn’t think I could fit it into my academic schedule. Eventually, after years of doubting the possibility of studying abroad, I finally worked up the courage to pursue the opportunity, and here I am!

Picking what country I wanted to study abroad in was easy, but there were a number of options in terms of where in Japan I wanted to study. As a senior in the CSSE department, I knew I needed to find a study abroad program that would allow me to study computer science while abroad. This helped me narrow my choices down to two schools: Tokyo Institute of Technology and Osaka University. The reason I eventually decided to attend Osaka University was because of the Frontier Lab program which allows international students to perform research in a STEM laboratory. The Frontier Lab offered the perfect opportunity for me to make the most of my study abroad experience, and it made picking Osaka University a no-brainer.

Over the next week I have a mountain tasks I need to complete in preparation for my trip. I’m sure five months abroad will go by faster than I would like, but it’s a very long time to be away, and I need to make sure I have taken care of everything before I go. I still can’t believe there’s only a week left. I am brimming with excitement and just a little bit of worry.


Thanks for reading!

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