My name is Heather and I am staying for 6 weeks in Japan.
I visited Hibarigaoka half a year ago with my Japanese class and my Japanese teacher. We only stayed for 3 days in the school and we did not had the time to experience the real school life and because of that I wanted to come again to Hibarigaoka, for a little bit longer. My teacher arranged all of it for me and now here I am! I am really happy that I have this opportunity, that I can experience the Japanese lifestyle through my really friendly family and that I can also experience the Japanese High School life.
My days at the School are amazing. Everyone is really nice and everyone wants to talk to me, so I do not feel like an outsider or like an unwanted person. My Japanese is not perfect and sometimes it is hard to articulate myself but everyone is understanding, we all do our best to understand each other and the use of body language makes everything rather funny than serious. This is also one of the best attributes of all the people here that we can laugh together, even when we do not understand every little word the other said, we have fun and the feelings matter more than the words. Because of that I am not afraid to talk to somebody or to stay in this country alone, without any German teachers or friends. I made very dear friends in this time in Japan and I hope that we all can grow a friendship that lasts a lifetime.
Of course not everything is flawless, for instance the cultural differences are in some cases really hard to understand for me or I do not see the reason why the people are doing it because it just does not make any sense to me. But overall I am also happy that I also have the chance to get to know the negative sides, because that is also a part of the lifestyle and every country on the world has its bad sites and the good ones in Japan are definitely outweighing all of the negative aspects.
Apart from that I know that all my memories will last a lifetime and I am really grateful that I could make these experiences. In my opinion it is the best way to learn a lot about a country, the language and the people in such a short time and everyone, who is really interested in a country should do this because it is a life event you will never forget.