This post is going to be about the JSP closing ceremony for the fall semester which took place on December 17, 2016. I think that enough time has passed that I can finally write about it without getting overwhelmed haha. It really was a sad day. It was the last time I would probably ever see some of the friends and people I met during JSP since everyone came from different states or even countries.
As expected of a Japanese ceremony it was fairly formal. We even had to practice how we would go up to the stage, bow, and receive our certificates. As expected of a majority of the Americans, you can’t expect them to do that kind of stuff and there was a little tension between the students who wanted to be able to dab and the school staff member who wanted to make sure that this would be a respectable event.
For the ceremony there were a few different speeches done by people involved in the program. Besides the University staff there were also speeches done by two of the host families and two of the JSP students. One of the host families had a lot of kids and it was so cute because they all had their little note cards with things they wanted to say. They were the host families of two of the JSP students since they hosted them in different semesters and it was really cute. The other host family was just a mother, but it sounded like she really had a great experience. The JSP student’s mom even came to Japan towards the end and they had gone around sightseeing together. I think that’s super great and one of the whole points of a homestay program.
For the JSP speeches it was really great to be able to see my friend speak in Japanese in a way that could make the audience laugh or maybe even cry. When she came to Japan she didn’t speak any Japanese beyond the basics but by the time she left she had learned enough Japanese to get through daily life, create a good relationship with her host family, and also make a lot of friends. That’s something that I am still working on so it’s definitely motivational to see that it is possible to get better at Japanese if you just use it with no fear.
Man, writing this post is making me miss them again since I haven’t seen them for over 2 months. But continuing on. After the speeches, handing out of certificates, and formal part of the ceremony was over we all took pictures and then said our goodbyes. On one hand it wasn’t as sad for me since I knew I wasn’t saying goodbye to everyone on top of saying goodbye to Japan, but it was still sad to know that I might never see these people that I got so close with over the 3 months I was friends with them.
Fall semester definitely had it’s ups and downs but as a whole it was great. I am not sure that the upcoming Spring semester can top it to be honest but that’s not going to stop me from trying.
If you read this long blabbering post, thank you! Next post will be about my Christmas Eve trip with my friend to go to Enoshima.