Introduction by Keith Silver

Hello! My name is Keith Silver, I am a CITA major with a concentration in studio art. I am currently a senior at the College of Charleston! My current program is an Asian Studies exchange with Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. The university is about an hour away from downtown Osaka, and Kyoto. It is in a little college town, Hirakata. It is surrounded by mountains and beautiful architecture. I have been here for about a month and it truly is gorgeous. I have had a lot of fun exploring Osaka and Kyoto and even Hirakata.

I chose this specific program because it has nothing to do with my major. I am a CITA major and this program did not have any coding opportunities, however, It is still inspiring to be in Japan whether you are learning about code, or learning about history. I wanted to do something different. Japan is very much so different from the states, the language is different, the culture is extremely unique, and Japan is largely monoethnic which really is different from the US.

My goals for my time abroad are to broaden my horizons, as cliche as that sounds, I truly do. I want to be able to meet new people and experience a culture that is widely different from my own. I really want to get better at the Japanese language as it is very difficult. I am extremely excited though! I can’t wait to see what goals I have when I actually get there. My goals currently are just to get there. 

I have done a lot of research on my host country. Staying up with the current political climate, the climate itself, I did not realize it got so cold in Japan. I did a lot of research on LGBTQ+ issues since that does affect how I could possibly be treated in a foreign country. Also, if you do not stay up until 3 AM going on a deepdive on youtube of where you are going to be staying, are you really prepared?

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