My name is Elie, I am a Waseda University exchange student from Seattle, and I am excited to be writing for this blog.
As exchange students, we have only a limited time in Japan, and I think we all feel like we need to make the most of it. For me, that means participating in as many different activities as I can while I am here. I am in two “circles” (university clubs) at Waseda, one a soccer club and the other a group of hip-hop enthusiasts including plenty of DJs and emcees. Like many other exchange students I know, I can also be easily convinced to take part in any activity that is labeled as being “Japanese.” In the past, this has led me to partake in such past-times as mochi-making and Japanese calligraphy, but it could also mean taking a trip to the local bath house or staying up all night singing karaoke. Just because something is not traditional that does not mean it is not a cultural experience.
As there are so many differences between my life here and in America, I am sure I will have plenty to write about on this blog. In addition to posting daily observations of things I find interesting around Tokyo, I can hopefully provide good advice and recommendations to current exchange students and those who are considering studying abroad in Japan. For me, Japan is a weird but mostly awesome place, and I look forward to writing about it!