Eben studied in Japan on the IES: Tokyo Program during the Summer of 2015.
If you could give only one reason, why would you suggest other students study abroad?
You’ll learn not only about another culture, but you will also gain insight and perspective on American culture. There are things that you will probably never learn about America until you leave.
If you could go abroad again, what would you do differently?
I would do a year long program.
My language and course of study had a big impact, but the biggest factor is that college is the best and easiest time to try an extended time period abroad.
What concerns/fears did you have about studying abroad, and how did you overcome them?
I was afraid of the financial cost, so I applied for every scholarship I could find. It worked out. I was also quite nervous about language and cultural barrier. But in general, people are pretty forgiving to foreigners, and will usually teach instead of mock you.
What was it about your program specifically that fit your personal goals over other programs?
I was worried about the time and money commitment of a full semester or year abroad. The summer program let me get ahead instead of falling behind.
How have you used the skills you learned abroad now that you are back; either in job searching, or in other activities?
One of the skills I learned was to find my way without being able to read everything. Since I’ve gotten back, I am amazing with directions
What experiences did you have while studying abroad that you feel you could not have had if you had stayed at Penn State?
All night karaoke, kabuki theatre, the greatest arcade games in the world, to name a few
Don’t decide that you’re too cool or too nervous to try anything. You might not get another chance.
Share an experience where you interacted with someone in your host culture in a way that taught you something.
I learned some choice words at an Izakaya (Japanese style bar)