Friday, July 29, 2011

The Search Begins

Ritsumeikan has successfully received the first portion of my tuition payment and is allowing me to pay the remainder upon my arrival at the university during orientation. It's such a relief knowing I have a little more time to get some money ready for tuition and housing. I will not be able to house in the university dorms during my first semester, so I must find an apartment near the university. I've got to get looking for one near my campus. This will be my next challenge, but I can do it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


A little stress was taken off after paying 84% of the first semester's tuition. All of the tuition needs to be paid by August 1, and all non-partnership complexities aside, if the tuition is not paid by then, it could jeopardize my flight on September 8th. I have to have all of the tuition accounted for in order to receive a Certificate of Eligibility that is necessary for my student visa. Long story short, even with the extension letter approved by Ritsumeikan, not getting the money in ASAP means cancelling my flight. That's not any fun at all.

But it's still much less stressful knowing that a large chunk of my tuition is paid for. I just have to wait on news for a house, find some time to do some shopping before I go, and keep a cool head on my shoulders so I can do my best.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Introduction and a Little Pre-Arrival Hoopla

Hi, everyone! Thank you for following me as I start my journey in to Japan. For those of you who know me, thank you very much for your support and encouragement over the many years. I'm finally achieving my dream. But before I start writing about all of the hoopla, I feel that I need to give a small introduction to those that are meeting me for the first time via internet.

My name is Macy Park and I come from a very small town in Texas about forty-five minutes away from Dallas. I am twenty years old, and am currently studying English Literature at the University of North Texas as an Honors College student. I am pairing this with a Minor in Japanese Language as this will help me pursue a career in teaching Japanese Literature at the university level. My acceptance to Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan is the first step of many on my journey to become fluent in the Japanese language as well as understanding of Japanese culture. I feel that I cannot truly teach Japanese Literature without knowing the culture, so I am taking this opportunity and grabbing it by the horns.

Learning about Japanese culture has been one of my main focuses since I first heard Japanese rock music in seventh grade. Over time, my focus grew from the stereotypical fascination with manga and anime and matured into a true love and respect for the rich history behind the fantasy. I have written many papers about Bushido, the Samurai Code in my literature classes, and have fallen in love with taiko drumming. I have read the stories of Akutagawa Ryunosuke and Osamu Tezuka. I feel that I fit in to Japanese culture more own. In high school, I was able to host a Japanese exchange student, Ai-chan, and we became incredibly close. I knew I had to study abroad after she went home because I wanted to communicate with her in her own language and learn about her culture as she learned about mine.

But that's just my story in short. For those of you that are reading this for the first time, or for those of you that don't know me that well in person and are just following me because you're interested in hearing more about Japan, please keep reading. You'll learn more about me as I travel and as I experience the culture. I will be writing daily after my arrival in Japan, and I will do my best to write weekly on this blog until my flight on September 8th. This blog will be in English, but after my arrival in Japan, I will be creating a mixi account--the Japanese equivalent of facebook--and if you are interested, you can read my Japanese blogs on that site. (I'll post the link as soon as I create one.)

I have a lot to do before I go to Japan. In my head, I have already packed my suitcases, but the reality is that I have not even started purchasing clothes. I'm still looking for housing in Japan. I am a partnered student with the University of North Texas and Ritsumeikan for the Spring 2012 semester equivalent, but I am not one in the Fall 2011 semester. This means that I do not technically qualify for housing for the fall, but as of now, Ritsumeikan is checking to see if I can get in a dorm. If not, I have to find an apartment. As soon as this is done, I can verify some things in order to get insurance from UNT and continue to push forward on the pre-arrival path.

As for now, that's all I have. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I'm a little rusty, but I'll get better as time passes.