Fall 2019 News: Japanese Studies

The Business of Japan by Kexin Zha, Class of 2020

The four months I spent studying in Japan were memorable and valuable. I enrolled in business and Japanese language classes at Ritsumeikan University’s Osaka campus. Significantly different from the classes at William & Mary, business classes at Ritsumeikan University focused on the comparison of distinct company culture in different countries. In-class discussions and teamwork with Japanese students exposed me to their unique ideas and perspectives, which were always surprising and inspiring.

The Japanese language classes included writing, reading, and speaking curriculums. Though challenging, the courses helped me to improve my language proficiency through lessons in vocabulary and discussions about social issues. As I perfected the language, I used it to exchange ideas with my classmates.

During my stay in Japan, I lived in a dorm with four roommates from Japan, Korea, and France. Our living quarters included a kitchen and cozy dining room where we hosted parties and learned to make traditional Japanese food such as takoyaki and gyoza.

Spending the summer months in Japan afforded me the unique opportunity to experience many events and festivals as well. My fondest memory is of the fireworks at Hanabi Taikai. Surrounded by young couples wearing yukata, I stood by the river with new friends as spectacular fireworks erupted above.

Before participating in this program, I was very interested in Japanese culture. Studying abroad sparked my interest even more. If you are interested in Japan and Japanese culture, I highly recommend joining this program to enjoy unique, firsthand experiences.

The Business of Japan Zha Photo