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Name: Christopher J. Tidwell
For how long will you study abroad?
My study abroad program goes through the 2012-2013 Academic Year.
What language(s) other than English do you speak?
How and why did you pick your study abroad location?
I have always wanted to do some sort of exchange program with a university abroad, and after my first semester of Japanese at NCSU I felt that studying abroad in Japan was something that I could actually do. Using the study abroad website I learned about of all the interesting programs all over Japan and I finally decided on applying to attend Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU) for a whole year. With KGU's intensive Japanese language program and the over 150 student organizations to get involved in I felt that KGU would be a great fit. I opted for the yearlong program because I want to experience the culture of Japan firsthand, since it's something that I have been studying for years. In addition, a year in Japan will help me significantly improve my current Japanese language skills.
What types of classes do you anticipate taking while studying abroad?
I will of course be focusing on my language courses but KGU provides many other interesting electives. Right now I am looking at taking a Japanese cinema class as well as one of the cultural classes that will help give me a better understanding of contemporary and traditional Japanese culture
What are some of the fun things you intend to do while studying abroad?
Traveling is a big hobby of mine and I can't wait to get the opportunity to explore other parts of Japan. I will be living in Osaka, which makes historic places like Kyoto and Kobe easily accessible.
What advice do you have for other students applying for study abroad scholarships?
I would suggest starting with NCSU's study abroad website, but don't stop there. There are many other scholarships available to students. I would strongly urge getting in contact with Dr. Tiffany Kershner, the Coordinator for Distinguished Scholarships and Fellowships. Through her I learned of countless scholarships that were available to help fund my study abroad experience. Lastly, you should attempt to form good relationships with your instructors because they can be very helpful when it comes to putting together your applications.
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