A Girl (of questionable significance) and Her Dilemma

Because the Path can NEVER be straightforward or simple. Gosh darnit.

Because the Path can NEVER be straightforward or simple. Gosh darnit.

(Note: This is actually about me attempting to get to Japan not about the state of my life though it does contain a quick catch up on some stuff.)

It’s been busy.

Which is partially why I haven’t posted in a bit. ‘Partially’ is putting it mildly but hey. Quick rundown of what has been going on since my last post? Sure. I got the stomach flu and was out of school for 3 days during which I missed three exams. My office moved across town and I helped move it. The short two-weekend festival I street-preform at came and went. Needed to retake the missed exams and turn in two essays.

I come to you on the other side of this busy two week-ish period well and happy. I took the exams I missed and did well on all of them. The festival (Camelot Days Medieval Festival) went really well! I had a ton of fun and looked like shit! No, really! I totally looked like shit:

See? When I said I wasn't scared of making a fool of myself...I wasn't lying.

See? When I said I wasn’t scared of making a fool of myself…I wasn’t lying.

Yeah… So that happened. Any way! Finished my essays! No idea how I did on them just yet! We shall see! I have a few more big things coming up (two more papers: one little one and one Research Paper that will kill me. Did I mention Finals are around the corner?) but now that I have my weekends back, things should be doing better.

Any way! This post isn’t about the state of my life/world. Because that is boring and not what this blog is about!

Its about the state of my journey to Japan!

Which is still not really any different from last time! Woohoo!!! By that, I mean: Regarding a Fall 2014 semester abroad, I am on the waitlist for Kansai Gaidai through my school and will be applying to two other universities (Seinan Gakuin in Fukuoka and Akita International University in Akita) as a direct enroll student around February. By mid-Apirl, I should know if I got accepted into any of these three programs.

So yeah, that is pretty much the same.

What is different is where I stand with the Summer program my school put together being lead by my Japanese professor to Fukuoka, Japan. It is a total of five-ish weeks. Four of which are taken up by 7 credits worth of classes and one during which Sensei will take us to a floating shrine (no idea where it is or what it is called), Kyoto, then Tokyo! My facts are not 100% on this because I have yet to receive any actually documentation on this–mainly word of mouth from Sensei and the Study Abroad department.

Any way, this trip sounds awesome! And like a great way to get my feet wet before being dropped off on my own, right? Right. There are issues though.

There are always issues. *sigh*

The first issue is a bit of a scheduling one: The trip goes (if memory serves) from June 26th to July 30th. Aaaall three options for a Fall semester that I am looking at start in late August (August 26th-ish)  WHAT DO I DO FOR FOUR WEEKS ON MY OWN?!

“Silly, Maria!” You say. “Travel! Live! Get out of your comfort zone! Spend four weeks backpacking through Japan, crashing at youth hostels with nothing but your luggage and your natural wits! Tour shrines! Go on an Eating Tour of Japan!”

To which I reply, “You are so right, genius reader! I’ll travel! See the world  Japan! Explore! Oh wait… Where am I going to keep my massive amounts of luggage to get me through 6 months away from home? OH and how do I pay for this?!”

(Seriously though, logistically, I’d have a ton of luggage. I’m not exactly ‘Japan Sized’ to put it politely and so I can’t just waltz around buying clothing willy-nilly… It would be a HUGE suitcase… Most likely two HUGE suitcases!)

Which brings us to issue number two: Money. Because if there are always issues, one of them is almost always money. Bugger.

Money is tight. Right now, all the Fall programs I’m looking at are between $12,000-13,000. That is a lot of money. Granted this includes estimated airfare, estimated spending money, estimated travel expenses, estimated blah blah blah. Still a lot of money. Add onto this what the summer program itself will cost (at the moment excluding tuition, travel expenses and food) $3,700 if what Sensei told me is to be believed. Tuition I don’t have to worry about (my Florida PrePaid will cover that) but that (if we round to $5,000) brings up my trip total to $17,000-ish dollars. Now add a month of traveling on my own through the wilderness streets of Japan… I don’t even know how much that would cost. Even if I extend the rent on the apartment we will be renting in Fukuoka by a month, I still have to eat and do stuff… Ya know… Because otherwise I’d die or… be really bored.

One recommendation I’ve gotten is to plant my roots in Fukuoka for that time and teach English where I can to make some money while I’m spending money. I have no idea how practical this is though.

So… That’s what is going on. If anyone (helloooo out there!) has advice or suggestions, I sorely need it. I really want to do the summer trip but I don’t know how to make it work.

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