I did not expect the Round Square exchange program to be as incredible as it was. I went to Tokyo, Japan for three weeks with one of my friends and I had an amazing experience. Japan was one of my top choices, as I have lived there previously, and know a bit of the language. I was really excited to be able to experience Japan from a different angle.
I left towards the end of the school year, and when I reached Japan, I had a couple days to rest and recover before school. My host took me around Tokyo, to some of the large attractions such as Shibuya. It took a little time to get used to the crowds and the noise, but I soon felt at ease.
The first day of school was a bit daunting, but I had my host as well as Nicole, one of my friends from UWCSEA. I was glad to know someone, but I also met many more people and made a lot of friends.
Tamagawa Academy has a campus that is much bigger than UWCSEA. It is larger than Disneyland, and the journey from the main gate to class was more like a hike. However, I think I got fit during this time due to the constant walking!
One thing that stood out to me was the train system. The trains in Tokyo are pretty well-known for being confusing and crowded, and I was very overwhelmed by the thought of taking it every day to and from school. But my host was with me for the first week, and it was a huge feeling of accomplishment when I finally took the train by myself without getting lost!
The food in Japan was amazing. My host mother was an incredible cook, and I got to try so many new delicacies that I haven’t tried before. It was truly an amazing experience, and I was devastated to go home and leave all of my new friends.
Overall, I think that if anyone is considering a Round Square exchange, go for it. I met so many new people, and got to experience new cultures and food. I really enjoyed my time in Tokyo.