Writing with the benefit of hindsight, and a little extra sleep after the end of the study abroad program brings into sharp relief how much of a once-in-a-lifetime experience it was. It was, perhaps, the single greatest twenty-five-day period that I’ve had thus far, and it is certainly the highlight of my time at UW Bothell. As I head into my final year here I believe that the lessons I learned and things I saw and felt will prove to be of incalculable benefit to my education as well as my career after I graduate.

The Tokyo Skytree—incredibly, mindbogglingly tall, so tall in fact that the observation deck is fully within the clouds on overcast days; a very kind staff member dissuaded me from paying the admissions fee to go up in this weather.

One of the greatest strengths of this program, compared to simply going on a vacation to Japan which would have been at least somewhat cheaper, was the sense of unity that came from travelling with a group of one’s peers. I am a bit of a shy person, so I felt much more comfortable going out and exploring when I knew that there was a stable base acting as an anchor. Obviously, there are numerous other benefits, especially in the opportunity of going to places and talking to people that any random person on vacation can’t visit or speak to; the five academic credits also sweetens the deal.

One course of our final group dinner together. Needless to say, it was delectable.

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