Friday, April 16, 2010

First Week of Classes Done

Konnichiwa mina-san (hello everyone)

Well the first week of classes is finally over. It really wasn't that bad. I mean I'm only taking 4 classes.
After I posted on tuesday I just studied in the lobby with some friends.

Wednesday I had Multiculturalism and Society with Michelle. It seems like it will be very interesting but its 2 periods long, so over 3 hours, and It's hard to focus. Oh did i mention it start at 8:45! After class I went to gym orientation which you had to go to if you ever want to use the gym. Before I can use it though i need to get indoor shoes because the gym requires indoor shoes for inside....
and again studied
Young Kyung Studying

Thursday was the same as monday. Japanese, tea ceremony and economics. After words I had dinner with a friend because we got out of class early enough to make it to the cafeteria. Then we had a floor meeting that lasted two hours, they pretty much told us everything we already knew. Then they gave us ice cream.  Oh they also made us pay 1,000 en which is about $10 for kitchen sponges and soap, floor events and stuff like that. then of course afterwards I studied!!!

Today I had Japanese, lunch, nap and shower in that order too haha. Tonight I just plan to hang out with some friends since we don't see each other during the week because of classes.

Tomorrow I have a building event for my dorm. It's called Clean! Clean! Clean! feat. BBQ. haha i figured it would be a good way to meet people in my building.

Every night we study we meet new people. Usually Japanese people who are doing their English homework while we do our Japanese. Luckily everyone is nice enough to help each other out. Most of them speak English pretty well but they don't think they do. I had one girl on my floor ask me about the difference between "L" and "R". So I tried to to help her some by saying them and she was trying to repeat but it was a difficult process haha.

Oh the other day Michelle and I went to Pacific cafe instead of the cafeteria for lunch. It's just a little cafe on campus. I ordered a cheeseburger set (seen above). It came with a cheeseburger, fries, drink and salad. The burger... not so good. The fries were DELICIOUS! The salad was good but I was having difficulties eating it with that little fork haha.

I think thats really it.
OHH sorry about that lack of updated pictures. I've been trying for days now but every time it says "upload failed" so I've got to keep trying different way to upload them. I mean i have about 200 pics to put up!!

Ja (Later)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First day of Classes

First off let me explain how my school here works. They are quarter based, not semester. So there is 2 quarters to our 1 semester. Also most of their classes are offered only 1 or 2 times for every 2 quarters. They also have a set schedule like in high school, 1st period, 2nd etc. up until 6th period. Each period is 1 1/2 hours and there is a 15 min break between each one. And on wednesday there are no classes after either 2nd or 3rd period. How we usually do MW together or T TH, here they to MTH, TF, or W. On top of that the language class is 4 days a week, not wed, but on MTH its a different period then TF. haha I know a lot to keep up with.  

Anyways, yesterday was my first day and the classes do not seem bad so far. Yesterday I didn't start class until 3rd period which starts at 1225 and goes until 2. They I had 4th free then had a 5th and 6th period, which means i was in class until 730. 

My 3rd period class was japanese. My teacher is very nice unless you're late, then she's not so nice. Late to her is one second past the time class starts. Literally someone was 37 seconds late and she marked them absent, because if you're late she marks you absent!!! 

My 5th period class is Tea Ceremony. It seems like it will be lots of fun since I get to have a sweet and tea everyday I have class. But there are also a lot of little details you need to remember. For example, when kneeling your knees need to be 16 lines back from the front of the tatami matt (tatami matt is made of bamboo i think and its a traditional japanese thing and you're not allowed to wear shoes on them). Also you need to have your knees a certain distance apart. When drinking the tea you have to pick it up, hold it, turn it, drink it and look at it a certain way. If you don't do it right its very rude. So its not as easy as it sounds, but its not going to be too bad I hope too.

My 6th period was Development Economics. It seems like it will be interesting, hopefully. My professor scared me pretty bad though. he told us we had a 15-20 page paper due next month. Then he went on to explain that it was 15-20 pgs per group so only 2-3 pgs a person. Thank god!

After class I just came back and made dinner with some friends and then worked on my japanese homework with some other friends. 

Today i only had one class, but its 1st period so 845-1020. At least its a language class and you are always doing exercises so it goes by fast. after wards michelle and i grabbed a bite to eat at the cafeteria and now im here writing this and doing wash. 
Don't really have any plans for tonight except to do my Japanese homework. 

Thats it for today. Nothing else really left to say : )


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Last Day of Freedom

Well first of all last night we really didn't end up doing anything last night. We just watched a movie called Smoking Aces 2... It was weird.

Today we had hanami which i guess is like a picnic in the park and you sit under the cherry blossom trees and eat and talk and admire them. well it was raining so we had it in doors haha. It was only for exchange students so there wasn't a lot of people. we played games from around the world and had a bento (prepared lunch box).
Some Japanese students giving a performance.

After wards a group of about 19, including the exchange student coordinator Funaki san came. We sang for 2 hours in one room and it only cost about $10!!!!! Funaki san has an amazing voice! I sang some songs, not very well. Funaki san paid for it too which was really nice of him.
Funaki san has been at APU for 10 years he actually graduated from here then worked here ever since. He is from Tonga. Tommorw he is getting promoted so he will no longer be in charge of us exchange students.
Some friends at karaoke.

Then afterwards we went to dinner at a place called Joyfull. Its a chain restaurant and it was delicious. I had something called cheese in hamburger. It was a hamburger with cheese in it, no bun, with a demi glaze (sp) sauce. It came with like 10 fries, rice, a lil salad and a soup, that i didn't eat.

Then I came back and there was a takoyaki party on my floor. Google it! But there was no octopus is this takoyaki. at first i didnt go so my roommate brought me a piece. Then about 5 min later a group of girls came and asked me to come so i went for about 10min.

Tomorrow I start classes and I took some interesting classes such as:
Japanese on M TH from 1225-2, T F 845-1020
Tea ceremony M TH 405-540
Developmental economics M TH 555-730
Multiculturalism and society W 845-1210

Im a little nervous i've forgotten how to go to class since I haven't been in class since mid december. Im also nervous about how long the classes are. Anyone who knows me knows how difficult it is for me to stay focused that long and not have to pee. haha maybe they will give a 10 min break?
Well im off to bed now so that i can have a good nights sleep!

Oyasuminasai (Goodnight)

Here is my address in case anyone loves me enough to send me something!!
ok my mom made me take it out so if you want it you can ask me for it. or if you want it to be a surprise ask michelle she can tell you.

ALSO: on facebook i am posting some pictures of what my dorm building and room look like tonight or tomorrow so keep an eye out for them!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Update of past 5 days

Ok im here to tell you about the last few days.
Im not going to go into to much depth because then this would take forever to write.

So on the 3rd. we went grocery shopping then i honestly don't remember what we did. Probably just hung out downstairs lol

On the 4th, sunday. i think thats the night we went into town and had okonomiyaki. which is a delicious pancake like thing that you cook on the grill in front of you. I suggest you google it. Then you will understand lol.

On monday the 5th we had a mandatory health checkup. They took our blood, tested us fro TB, needed a urine sample, took our height and weight then gave us a eye exam. it was at 8 am. funfun. After wards we went into Beppu again. Some of us wanted a normal sized pillow, they only gave us this small one filled with beans or something. When we got downtown there was a festival celebrating the onsens in the area. really interesting. Check out my pics on facebook!
I got a pillow and we looked around the mall and i think thats the night we made dinner in the dorms... or maybe when we had curry at CoCo ichibanya. My curry was delicious! it had cheese and a chicken cutlet on top.

On the 6th is when we went to the different onsens i think. they were so beautiful and I posted alot of pics on facebook so check them out. We had to travel to 6 different parks i think. Each one having a onsen and some sort of attraction like alligators or zoo animals. Ha i just remembered this is actually the night we had curry and the night before we cooked i think! haha

On the 7th we had a bunch of different guidances that were very boring.  And i honestly dont remember what we did that day either.

The 8th we signed up for classes and i got a bit screwed over because i couldn't really take business classes which is why i came here. But oh well! I know that night we went to the karaoke bar and had a lot of fun. It was about $25 per person for 3 hours with unlimited beer.

Yesterday I went into Oita with michelle and carlos. We walked around for a bit then ate a very traditional Japanese style restaurant. we counldnt read the menu and there was no pictures so i pointed at a item and asked "sakana desu ka?" meaning is this fish, she said no so i ordered it. And the result was DELICIOUS

We also ordered nassu gyoza which was eggplant dumplings. But it was the eggplant stuffed with the dumpling stuffing then deep fried! AMAZING!

Afterwards we did a little more grocery shopping. We run out of food very easily here.  Then i had kitchen duty for my floor so i had to clean. It wasn't too bad.

Today I woke up and michelle and i made fried potatoes and eggs just like we used to back at home! Then i went and looked at this little market they had on campus and tried some korean food and deep friend bananas covered in chocolate and nuts. And im not really sure what the plans are for tonight. 

I dont remeber what day we did this but we went to the mall with some more friends and looked around then and after wards we went to a sushi bar, i think. I didnt eat real sushi but i ate egg sushi i guess you can call it. It was egg on top of rice wrapped in a piece of seaweed. At the mall there was an arcade too.

i think thats everything but just to make sure I would read my roommates blog too. We may fill in some of each others blanks spots!

Well Ill try to keep up better for now on but i start classes on monday and hopefully will join a circle (club) so it may be difficult.

Love you,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Short One

Sumimasen (sorry)

I know its been almost about 5 days now since I updated, but its harder then I thought it would be. I dont really have time right now to do a full update because Im going to dinner then to karaoke with some friends. I was planning on updating today but figuring out my class schedule took longer than expected. 

I have done so many different orientations for school this week along with tons of fun things with friends. 
Tomorrow there is nothing planned so I will have time to update my blog and pictures. 

I hope everyone at home is doing fine. Im doing good here. 
Look forward to a long, interesting action filled post tomorrow. : )


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fun Times

Ok so time to catch you guys up on what you've missed so far.

Well two days ago was the Japanese placement test. which was harder than i thought it would be. The first part was kanji (japanese characters). Out of the 20 they gave us I could write about 8ish of them and about 4 parts of others. haha Then was the essay which i would have to say didn't turn out to be an essay, unless you consider two sentences a essay. And the last part was grammar which i think i may have only gotten 2 wrong. It was easy.
After wards I had dinner with some friends then we came back to the dorm and played pool and foosball. I have decided that i am not really good at either but they can be fun. haha
I also made some new friends from China and Thailand. 

Yesterday was the entrance ceremony. We were supposed to get dressed up so i wore a nice summer dress. well apparently if your japanese you know to wear a suit, even girls. And some people wore their traditional clothes which was really interesting see. There were a couple speeches by students, the mayor of Beppu, APU prez and the Ritsumeikan trust prez. After the speeches there were some performances by danc and music groups. One group was really interesting and they used really fast hand motions!!
When it was over Michelle and I went to go walk out and all the circles, groups/clubs, were there and they were handing out flyers for their group. It was crazy because every group was talking to you at the same time and giving you paper!!

After the ceremony we came back and then went to dinner at the cafeteria with some friends. I think that was the night i tried nassu, which is eggplant, and it was delicious. After wards we can back to the dorm and talked then hung out in our friends room and drank. Apparently here you can drink, no matter how old, as long as its in your room. One of your friends from mexico brought Tequila with him. It is supposed to be a very good brand and another of our friends had Japanese beer. 
Our Korean friend taught us some Korean games so we played those while drinking, if you really call one beer drinking. 

Now on to today!!
So far i had Library orientation, it was crap. haha i just talked to my friends and was on facebook. After wards we went to lunch at the cafeteria then bought bus tickets. Then, again, we sat around and talked. While we were walking back to our dorm some other of our friends shouted out their window and invited us to haev tea. So we went their and drank tea and talked about drinking games haha. 

Apparently in Korea or Singapore they do not play beer pong or waterfall. So we all explained how to play different games to each other. Then we decided that one night we will have like a pot luck dinner and everyone will make food from their respective countries and we can all share. 

In about 20 min im going downtown with some friends to grocery shop then to dinner and maybe the bar? We don't know yet. These friends also decided that tomorrow probably we will all cook food together, hence the reason we are going grocery shopping. 

Well since I'm in a rush i will post the pictures either tonight when i get home or tomorrow when i get up. 


Thursday, April 1, 2010



Good Morning!

Well things are going great so far! Yesterday we had orientation, welcome party and welcome ceremony!
It all began at 930 so I was up at 730 to get ready. The orientation was kinda boring they just explained how to register for classes and the rules. The dean, i think, did give a speech and told us there was an ACTIVE VOLCANO right by us, but he doesn't think it will erupt anytime soon. He then went on to tell us that there are a lot of earthquakes around here and told us how to deal with them. Then he told us that we would be lucky if we got typhoons and a lot of rain, because it is typhoon season, because they would have to close school. But that also means that the roads would be closed so there would be no way to get to or from campus.

Oh FYI for those of you who don't know, my school is kind of up a mountain side so all road that lead to and from school have a bridge somewhere before you could make it to town. That means if we had a big enough earthquake, typhoon, or volcanic eruption we could be trapped here like our own little island (thats what he told us).

Some friends and I were joking saying we could just imagine that there would be a typhoon coming from one way, lava from another way, and an earthquake occurring while we were all standing on a bridge. haha
Our friend from Mexico said they should have put that kind of stuff in the brochure.

After a free buffet lunch, that didn't have enough food to feed all 85 exchange students, we were taken on a campus tour by some student volunteers. we had one person in our group who didn't speak english, just japanese and korean, so our tour guides had to give the tour in english and japanese. Sometimes i think they forgot not all of us spoke japanese, because they would forget to explain in english until they looked at all our confused faces. I could get the gist of what they were saying in Japanese though. Our group was late getting back so they sent someone to find us and we had run back to the class room.

Then we had interviews for japanese language placement. They wanted to place me into foundation 3 but i said NO foundation 2 would be better. They said they would see how i do on the test today and if i do really well they will put me in 3 but if not then 2. (I should be studying for the test right now.)

By now its 4:15 and im like yay! i have an hour before the welcome ceremony... I was wrong. As soon as i got back to the dorm (AP House) I had to meet with my floor mates and we headed over to the ceremony. I sat by my roomate Risa, who is Japanese and An (pronounced ahn) who is from Thailand. An doesn't speak Japanese and Risa only speaks a little english, but it is very good, so sometimes there was some miscommunications. Especially trying to explain Celsius and Fahrenheit. I did learn from An that in Thailand they only have 3 seasons, hot, hotter and rainy. She said the coldest it gets is 20C which is like 68F. And it gets all the way up to about 40C, 104F. She has never seen snow!!!

At the welcome ceremony a couple different people gave speeches welcoming us and that was about it. Then we went to have dinner in the cafeteria. We all stood around tables and talked and ate. I met lots of new people here and they all wanted to take pictures with me. I probably took like 20 pictures last nice. The good thing is that everyone is so nice and they try to talk to me using english to the best of their abilites and compliment me onmy japanese even if i only say Nan sai desu ka? (How old are you) or konbawa (Good evening). After dinner s couple different circles (clubs) put on dances. They our RA's did some line dancing that they learned for us, to some japanese, korean and english songs. They were so cute!

After wards I just went back to my dorm and slept because i was so tired.

I also learned that most people here are younger than me because they actually enrolled in APU and are first year students. I think I'm even older than or same age as my RA's, most of them are 2nd year or 3rd years students.

I met one girl who is 17. She is from Thailand and her name is Cake. How she explained is was "My name is cake as in cupcake that you eat."

Also some people get very excited that I drive. Because in japan you have to be 20 and 19 in korean i think. And most just use public transportation. They also find in very cool that I have a jeep. They think its amazing!

I've also gotten a lot of compliments on my piercing. They come up and count, in english, my earrings. Then say Sugoi (amazing) or kawaii (cute).

Well I think thats it for now. I need to study and Im meeting some friends from Hong Kong, the States, South Korea, and Singapore for lunch. Then its test time.

Well here are some pics!



Volcano anyone? 
(not sure if this is actually the active one or not)

All 85ish exchange students and volunteers.

First dance group doing a traditional
dance for a certain part of japan that they are from.

Second dance group. 
Not really sure what kind of dancing it was,but it was good.

Some of the RA's dancing.

All the RA's. About 60 of them I think.