Study abroad memories

The University of Kentucky Office of International Affairs recently asked past participants of its programs to post their favorite memories on their Facebook Wall. Here’s what I wrote:

Thanks to UKIA, I spent roughly six weeks in Japan in 2001. It was my first time outside the US. I was really impressed with how well the trip was organized, leaving my fellow students and me free to just take everything in and learn all we could. The whirlwind rail tour put me in touch with Japanese history and culture in a way I never could have experienced in a traditional classroom. I’m still friends with the girl whose family I stayed with in the small town of Yatsushiro. There are so many memories that it’s hard to choose a favorite, but ranking high are the dusk view of the lighted port city of Hakodate from the mountains, swimming at the base of waterfalls, writing a short essay on the aesthetics of haphazard power lines (really!), and strolling through preserved historic areas in tiny mountain towns. Ten years later, I’m still “homesick”!