Laurel Falk - University of Arizona
Giancarlo Esposito - University of Arizona
Congratulations to our latest scholarship recipient, Laurel Falk! Laurel is a University of Arizona student studying abroad in Tokyo, Japan at Sophia University (Jochi Daigaku) for the academic year of 2023-2024.
“日本からこんにちは！(Hello from Japan!)
It's hard to believe that it has already been 3 months. From day one, my days have been filled with new experiences, learning, laughter, and lots of food. In the span of three months I have gotten to experience Tokyo from 2,080 feet in the air, seen electrifying fireworks, eaten oodles of noodles, marveled at neon fish, jumped in autumn leaves in Nikko, again ate more than my stomach could hold, woke up at 4 am to climb a snowy mountain, embarrassingly using the wrong terms “two people” (futari) and “gaining weight” (futori), ice skated in Roppongi, rock climbed out side in Mitake, learned the history of cup noodles in Yokohama, made cup noodles, and ate said cup noodles. I’ve been doing all these, and more, all while studying Japanese and taking culture courses at Sophia University. Needless to say, taking Intensive Japanese courses is just as it sounds, intensive. 200 hr Japanese classes filled with tests and quizzes and what feels like tests everyday, pushes me to learn the language fast. Without a doubt, I am learning more and more about Japanese and Japanese culture. I look forward to what the next semester has to offer. “
"The scholarship has been immensely useful in helping me cover the related costs for playing on a Japanese rugby team such as gear, transportation and dues. Purchases like a train commuter pass becomes very useful when going from school to home and back again later for practice. Moreover, during away games the scholarship helped me pay for taxis and filling up my train pass. In the academic sphere the scholarship helped me pay for all of my books for my classes, especially Japanese, where I needed to buy up to 6 separate books! Lastly the scholarship covered my bullet train ticket to visit my host family in Hiroshima for the winter holiday. While money was tight to be able to come home for the holiday break the scholarship allowed me to go and spend time with my long time Japanese host family during Christmas and New Years. Having this scholarship gave me an extra ease of mind knowing all the surprise costs I ran into in Tokyo were fully covered for and allowed me to have more fun socializing with new friends and teammates in Japanese."
Awesome video! We are glad you had an amazing experience in Japan!