Studying Abroad: Embrace Even the Smallest Little Treasures by Jem Dahabi

We create this picture in our minds of the perfect adventure abroad, seeing the sights, meeting amazing new people, trying new things  (especially food) and maybe even rediscovering yourself. Being in Osaka Japan I’ve gotten to see many big tourist attractions like some major temples, the manga museum, dotonbori, and even doyamacho but some of my favorite things I’ve done so far have been the less extravagant. I met some super nice Japanese students and they ended up  inviting me to play paintball. I’d never played before so I figured, Why Not? And I don’t regret it, It was hands down one of the best days I have had here. Another highlight of my trip is this great place a block away from the dormitory. This great restaurant that all students (both gaidai and exchange) frequent. It’s quaint and basically a hole in the wall but the staff is amazing, friendly and very entertaining. I’ve also met most of my friends here and it will always be a cherished memory, they even have a wall where past exchange students leave their mark with words of wisdom and just silly things that I hope to join before I return home. The point I’m trying to make is that you don’t have to fill your trip with big ticket items, it’s nice to enjoy the mundane because most of the time that’s when you end up having the best time. Take advantage of even the smallest opportunities, and the little hole in the wall places because they lead to the best experience. Sometimes the best way to learn about the culture is not through the big historical sites, but instead the small family run sweets shop down the road, or the random little pop up street festivals. Don’t be afraid to go out with a friend or two and wander because that’s how you find the real little gems and have most amazing little adventures!

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