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Gifu Group Program Cancelled on Tuesday, March 1414-Mar-2017

The GPI Gifu Japanese group program is cancelled today due to the snow storm. All students shou..

Mito First Program Cancelled on Tuesday13-Mar-2017

The GPI Mito First group program is cancelled for Tuesday, March 14 due to the storm. ..


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Six More Weeks of Winter

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, February 21, 2017


On February 2nd, once again, groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which means another six weeks of winter. If you and your visitor(s) are not sure what to do during these six weeks before the weather warms and flowers bloom, we have some suggestions for fun outdoor activities to take advantage of all this snow! 


Sledding or Tubing
There is a hill to go sledding in virtually every Boston neighborhood. Sledding locations in the city include places like Flagstaff Hill in Boston Common or Marine Park in Southie.
 This article lists great sledding hills all around the greater Boston area, and if you are looking to go tubing, this article provides tubing locations just a short drive from Boston. 


Skiing
You do not have to travel out of state to enjoy a ski trip with your family. Blue Hills Ski Area in Canton has 12 trails and over 60 acres of terrain for both beginnings and advanced skiers.
 This guide can help you can find other nearby mountains open for skiing this winter. Do you prefer cross country over downhill skiing? Check out The Middlesex Fells Reservation. This park has cross country trails and is located a short five miles north of Boston. 


Skating:
Boston has many opportunities for public skating. Visit
 Boston Common's Frog Pond Which hosts weekly "College Nights" featuring discounted tickets for University students. You can also take the opportunity to visit  The Boston Winter skating path at Government Center before it closes for the season on February 26th. 


Snow Shoeing
If you want an outdoor activity that requires minimal skills, you should try snow shoeing! There are many places a short distance from the greater Boston area that are great for exploring on foot.
 Gore Place in Waltham offers snow shoe rentals and features 50 acres of explore-able estate. This article has information about the top five places near Boston to take a show shoeing day trip.


After spending time in the great outdoors warm up with a cup of hot chocolate from one of these Boston Cafe's. what goes best with host chocolate? Warm cookies :) This list will show you the best best spots to get delicious homemade cookies in the city. Use this snowy weather as an excuse to treat your student (and yourself!) to some of the best desserts the area has to offer!

Everything You Need To Know About Super Bowl LI

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Its that time of year again - time for the Super Bowl!! Excitingly enough Boston's favorite football team will (again!) be playing in this year's Super Bowl, Super Bowl LI (if you're not too familiar with roman numerals LI means 50). Here is everything you need to know to prepare yourself for the big game. Go Pats!!

Who: New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons

What: Super Bowl LI

Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

When: Saturday, February 5th @ 6:30pm

How to watch: Super Bowl LI will be televised nationally on FOX. You can also watch it online for free on FOXsports.com on your computer or tablet. Verizon users can watch it on the go with NFL Mobile

Where to Watch: With its plethora of sports bars and restaurants, Boston is an exciting place to celebrate the Super Bowl! Here you can find a list of places throughout the city hosting Super Bowl parties and offering special deals on food and drink. I personally will be watching the game from my favorite venue - my couch. If you're looking for some place less crowded or for a younger crowd, watching the game at home with family and friends may be the best option. 


Who to watch:  This will be the Patriot's ninth Super Bowl appearance and the seventh time for Belichick and Brady. Tom Brady is going for his 5th Super Bowl ring, which would make him the record holder of the most Super Bowl wings of any active quarter back in the NFL. Right now, Brady is tied for 4 wins with Joe Montana. After him, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger have two rings each, and are the only other active quarter backs with more than one win. This Super Bowl will pit the No. 1 defense in the league (Pats) against the No. 1 offense in the league (Falcons) which should definitely provide for an exciting game!

What to eat: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Super Bowl is the second largest day of food consumption in America (the first is Thanksgiving). American's are estimated to buy 12.5 million pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday, and set to consume 1.33 billion chicken wings. Several local pizza chains have Super Bowl specials that you can find here, just remember to put your order in early - they'll be busy! 

Halftime show: This year's Halftime show will be headlined  by Lady Gaga. This will be Lady Gaga's second time performing on the Super Bowl stage, after having sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl 50 last February. The Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show is the most -watched musical event of the year, attracting more than 116.5 million viewers last year. 

If New England wins, stay tuned for the Patriots Parade in the weeks shortly after. It is tradition for the team to celebrate the big win by parading through the streets of Boston on floats with their families! 


Sources: NFL, Chicago Tribune

Holiday Activities Yule Love!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Its December already!? Crazy, I know.  November really flew by and now it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (for real - it snowed this morning.) Once you get past the cold, Boston is a great place to be during the winter. With tree lightings, and carolers, outdoor skating rinks and pop-up markets, the city has so many different winter activities to help you celebrate the holiday season with your international visitor! If your'e getting tired of listening to 106.7's nonstop Christmas music, here are some other festive ways to have a happy holiday! 

(GI host mother and her students looking at holiday lights in Saugus, MA!)

Get in the holiday spirit by taking your visitor to see amazing holiday lights! Tour your own neighborhood or explore the light displays in other areas of greater Boston. Don't know where to go?? This article can help. Check out the places with the best Christmas lights in Boston. Take a trip by car or bond with your visitor during an outdoor stroll. If you would prefer to travel by train, you can do that too! The Somerville Arts Council's Illuminations Tour will take you through the illuminated streets of Somerville via trolley. 


(One of our students decorating her host family's Christmas Tree last year!)

After, take some inspiration from those neighborhoods and decorate your own home! Ask your visitor to help you place holiday decorations inside and outside your house. If you celebrate Christmas, involve your student in hanging Christmas ornaments and lights or even picking out the Christmas Tree. Designate a special ornament for your student (craft or buy one together!) - your visitor will feel like a welcomed part of the family and you will have a memento of the holiday you shared! 


(GI students and their host family building a gingerbread house!)

Speaking of crafts...a fun at home activity is decorating a gingerbread house! If you don't think you have the culinary skills to make one from scratch easy kits can be found in your local grocery store this season. You and your visitor will enjoy assembling and decorating the gingerbread house together and you'll especially love eating it after :)

(Japanese TALK students posing with their gifts and Santa Claus!)

Take your visitor holiday shopping with you! Let them help you pick out gifts for your family and see if they want to get a present for their friend at school or family at home. A festive place for a shopping outing is a Holiday Market. Throughout the Christmas season, Boston offers a variety of holiday stores and pop-up markets for all your gift giving needs! Check out the Holiday Market in Downtown CrossingThe Harvard Square Holiday Fair, The Holiday Shopping Village at City Hall Plaza, or The Christmas in Boston store at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. 

Don't forget about New Year's Eve! Holiday celebrations don't stop after December 25th. Ring in the new year by watching Boston's NYE fireworks display over Boston Harbor. The show begins at midnight on January first, but First Night festivities begin long before that. Bring your visitor to enjoy parades, ice sculptures, music, and dancing on the last day of 2016! 

Your Columbus Day Weekend Schedule

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Happy (almost) Columbus Day weekend! As many of you have the day off from work, this long weekend will be an excellent opportunity to explore the city and participate in the many celebrations happening in Boston. Columbus Day weekend is a lively time in Boston, full of parades, festivals, and other events - and may of them are free! If you're unsure of how you'll spend this (somewhat controversial) holiday, don't worry, here is a list of all the happenings this weekend so you can celebrate the discovery of America right! 

Friday October 7th (through Sunday October 9th): HONK! Street Music Festival 

Where: Davis Square, Somerville 

Time: Varying times 

Cost: FREE


Music appreciation meets activism at the HONK! festival in Davis square. This lively three day event draws brass bands from all over the world to Somerville in celebration of not only music, but the community as a whole. This is event is special because it is organized entirely by volunteers and is already in its tenth year. The festival begins Friday and kicks off with a lantern parade through Davis square neighborhoods followed by a band showcase. On Saturday over twenty five bands will take over Davis Square bringing live music and a dance party! On Sunday, many local community groups join the band members in a large parade from Davis Square to Harvard Square via Mass Ave. These local groups include activists working for extremely important causes such as economic justice, protecting the environment, world peace and ending racism. HONK! Also features a Day of Action, on which bands convene to play on behalf of a cause. For more information including schedule and times click here. 


Sunday, October 9th: East Boston Columbus Day Parade 

Where: East Boston

Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Cost: FREE

The Boston Columbus Day Parade is an old tradition in the North End and East Boston neighborhoods. How old?? Since 1937. The parade celebrates Christopher Columbus's expeditions to the Americas as well as Boston's Italian heritage (in case you didn't know Columbus was from Italy) and the commitment if Massachusetts military units to American freedom. In even numbered years (aka 2016) the parade begins in the Suffolk Downs parking lot in East Boston, marches down Bennington Street and ends at Maverick square near the waterfront. Where to watch? The best viewing spots are along Bennington Street (Blue Line / Maverick). Get there early to claim a good spot! 


Monday, October 10th (aka Columbus Day) : Columbus Park Fall Festival 

Time: 12:00pm - 4:00pm 

Location: Christopher Columbus Park, Boston's North End (100 Atlantic Avenue - next to the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel) 

Public Transportation: Blue Line / Aquarium T stop 

Cost: FREE


I can't think of a more appropriate place to celebrate Columbus Day than at a park named after the explorer himself. This festival, which is sponsored by many local North End and Waterfront businesses, has become an annual event for the city and Columbus Day tradition for many families in the Boston area. The festival begins with a children's parade through the park, followed by a ceremony at the Christopher Columbus statue. There will also be a lot FREE entertainment and games (i.e. magicians, storytellers, musicians) My lunchtime suggestion: Bring a blanket and grab food from one of the nearby North End Italian bakeries or pizza joints, one of the many food stalls at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, or The Boston Public Market.

Opening our Doors Day

Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm 

Where: Multiple locations around the Fenway neighborhood 

Cost: FREE

More information:  Find a complete events schedule for Boston's Fenway neighborhood here 


The Fenway Alliance is inviting Boston residents to participate in the city's biggest single day of free arts, cultural, and educational events. The special festival will feature over sixty different activities, performances, tours, music shows, and games (did I mention for free??) Festivities will begin on the Mass Ave side of the Christian Science Plaza at the intersection of Huntington and Mass Ave with a kids parade (featuring a brass band), many performances, and...FREE CUPCAKES!! Also, as an added plus the event includes free admission into several Fenway museums (think: Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum and the Mary Baker Eddy Library Mapparium)


Find more fun things to do this weekend in Boston here and on our facebok page

Krazy for KitKats

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, September 27, 2016


I'm assuming you're familiar with the KitKat -- the milk chocolate and wafer bar you can find in just about every supermarket, gas station, and convenience store in the country. KitKat is definitely a popular chocolate in the U.S. but did you know that it is HUGE is Japan?? I had no idea until I read this article from CNN. The article is about the KitKat craze and why this chocolate is so popular in the country (it's a really interesting article so you should read it) We were so intrigued that we asked our Japanese culture consultant to give us some insight into this aspect of Japanese life.

To understand the KitKat craze in Japan it is important to understand the involvement of lucky charms in the culture. Belief in good luck charms and trinkets is strong in Japanese society. Japanese often keep a lucky charm, such as a coin, on their person during exams or important events so that they may have good fortune. KitKats became so popular because they are given as good luck charms. Why? Sort of by an unintentional coincidence. The candy's name sounds very similar to the Japanese phrase "kitto katsato", meaning "to surely win". Japanese students will receive KitKats from their parents or friends before exams as a way of saying good luck. Just how popular are KitKats?? In Japan they are sold in over 300 flavors - though not the kinds of flavors you would find in the U.S. Some notable KitKats include pumpkin pudding, green tea, shinshu apple, adzuki bean sandwhich. matcha, wasabi, purple sweet potatoes, cherry blossom, and sake (and to think I thought the white chocolate kind was adventurous). The reason for so many flavors is because of the large amount of competition within the Japanese candy business. Over 2,000 new confectionery products are released in the country each year, so KitKat must create new flavors to keep up. Colors also play a role in the creation of new flavors, as Japanese tend to prefer bright hues to ordinary ones. The different colored KitKats are more attractive to Japanese consumers than standard chocolates. KitKat in Japan goes beyond your standard chocolate bar, with products like KitKat pizza and "baking bars" designed to be cooked before eating. Since 2012m KitKat has begun to overtake major candy companies like Meji. 

KitKats are produced and displayed in Japan the way you might imagine gourmet chocolate is made here. In Japan, KitKats are sold in large stores, the way Lindt or Godiva chocolate is sold in the United States. However, despite their "gourmet" preparation, KitKats are still not viewed to be as fancy or classy like gourmet chocolate brands in America would be. For example, while it may be culturally appropriate in the U.S. to give a box of Godiva chocolates as say a housewarming gift or as an end of the year thank you to a professor, it would not be appropriate in Japan to give a KitKat as a gift in these same situations. So give a KitKat to your Japanese students before their test, but don't expect any from their parents if they come to visit. 


Did this post give you a KitKat craving?? Lucy for you, you don't have to go all the way to Japan for Matcha flavored KitKats. You can find them at most H Marts or Asian grocery stores. 

Autumn Colors Around The World

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, September 12, 2016


This month marks the beginning of the Autumn season in Boston. Soon the leaves will change and the air will become colder..even though it was 90 degrees and humid last week (gotta love that New England weather, right?) For me, fall is a season I really enjoy because of things like the excitement of going back to school, upcoming fall festivals, events for Halloween, and of course the beautiful way the trees look when I'm walking around the city.

Thinking about the changing seasons has me wondering what the fall season looks like in other parts of the world ( I've experienced fall abroad before, but I was in Greece and its basically hot there until December) I read an article on Lonley Planet about the world's best places to see Autumn colors and found that many countries also have New England-esque fall foliage.  Here are some highlights. 

Fall in Japan is just as pretty as the spring. Kouyou or Autumn leaves can be seen coloring the whole country, staring in the North and spreading to the South in September. The above photo is from the ancient capital of Nara, where its historical shrines are surrounded by leaves in an array of colors. 

The landscape of Scotland offers some of the finest Autumn scenes in Europe. According to the article, the best place to experience these Autumn hues is Pitlochry, which also hosts an Enchanted Forest each October where the trees are lit up and music is played as residents explore the woods around town.  

Huangshan, or Yellow Mountain, is, according to Lonley Planet, arguably the best place in China for getting the full Autumn effect. The trees covering the mountain turn a bright red throughout October drawing in thousands of tourists from other parts of the country. The foliage is particularly beautiful at sunrise.  

It's no surprise that New England made the list, after all there are so many different destinations (and all equally beautiful in the Fall) to choose from. The New England location that the article decided was the best place in the area (and in the world) to experience Aumtumn was New Hampshire's White Mountains. A hike through the hills in October will surround you with bright red maple leaves and a drive to Silver Casacde Falls in Carroll Country provides a stunning view of the trees next to a gorgeous waterfall. 

If you are looking for ways to experience Fall close to home, we provided a few destinations in last weeks blog post. You can also check out our Facebook page to see what seasonal activities are happening around Boston! 

How Do You Like Them Apples!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Autumn season is a great time in Boston to be out doors and admire one of the most beautiful seasons in Massachusetts. A fun activity this time of year is visiting farms around Boston for apple picking, pumpkin picking, hay rides, corn mazes and more...because (although it is delicious) pumpkin spice iced coffee isn't the only way to experience Fall. So put on your best flannel and enjoy the finest foliage (and cider donuts)  that New England has to offer. 

Boston Hill Farm, North Andover MA


Boston Hill Farm is a PYO orchard and farm stand located thirty minutes from the city in the quaint suburb of North Andover. The farm is open for berry picking in the summer and pumpkin and apple picking in the fall. Beginning in mid September through October the Farm hosts Apple Festivals every Saturday and Sunday and offers pumpkin picking until Halloween.  After you've decided on the perfect future Jack o' Lantern you can visit the farm stand for homemade treats like honey, jelly, fudge, and ice cream. 

Connors Farm, Danvers MA


When I looked at the map of Connors Farm is reminded me of an amusement park. There aren't roller coasters or anything like that but it definitely has more entertainment attractions that your average little red barn. In addition to apple picking and a fresh farm stand, Connors Farm is famous for their Giant Corn Maze which opens this year on September 10th - and this year its Charlie Brown themed. During October they open the Hysteria Scream Park (think: Giant Corn Maze but scary) in celebration of Halloween. Like I said before, there's no roller coasters, but there is rides! Hay rides that is....you can take one around the whole farm!

Russell Orchards, Ipswich MA


Russell Orchards might be well known for their apple picking, but the best part about the farm (in my opinion) is definitely their cider donuts. They are well worth the drive from Boston and are freshly made at the store everyday. Actually, one of the things that makes the Orchard's store so special is that everything is made fresh and all of the produce they see is grown right there on the farm. Right now, the store also features produce, honey, and eggs. My other favorite part about Russell Orchards is the animals :) You can visit all of the barnyard animals and even feed them too. If you don't visit for the cider donuts at least come for the bunnies. 

Labor Day Weekend!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, August 29, 2016

Next Monday, September 5th, is Labor Day in the U.S. You may only know Labor Day as that Monday in September where you don't have to work, or if you're a student, it's that day in the beginning of the school year when you don't have class. But what does Labor Day really mean? Why do we have this holiday?



Labor Day is a public holiday that honors the American Labor movement and celebrates the contributions that workers have made to better the country. Labor Day has its origins in the labor union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.

For many countries, Labor Day is synonymous with, International Workers' Day, which occurs on May 1st (you might also know this as May Day). For other countries, Labor Day is celebrated on a different date, often one with special significance for the labor movement in that country. (hint: ask you visitor about Labor Day celebrations in their country)


Labor Day in Canada and the United States is also considered the unofficial end of Summer (*sad face* ) as it is celebrated on the first Monday of September during the time summer vacations are ending and students are returning to school. 

What can you do to celebrate Labor day? When the it was first created, The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: "A street parade to exhibit to the public the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations, followed by a festival for the workers and their families". Since then, A festival or parade has remained the basis for a proper Labor Day celebration, though with some changes made over time. Now, we see Labor Day filled with fire work displays, last trips to the beach, outdoor BBQs, and, of course, $ales. If you're looking for ways to spend you Labor Day this year, consider taking part in these events around Boston: 


Labor Day Fireworks over Boston Harbor-

Fire works launched from barges anchored off the North End and Seaport will illuminate the sky over Boston Harbor in celebration of Labor Day and the beginning of fall. The show begins at 9pm on Saturday, September 3rd. 

Where to watch: The best place to see the display is from the lawn along Christopher Columbus Park or by Long Wharf in the North End. The fireworks can also be easily seen from the South Boston Waterfront (especially around Fan Pier/ Seaport), the downtown waterfront, and Piers Park in East Boston


Labor Day Sales- 

Do some back to school shopping or revamp your fall wardrobe with Labor Day Sales throughout the city. The best places to shop? You can take advantage of reductions on already discounted prices at places like Assembly Row or Wrentham Village. If you're looking to stay in the city to shop, check out sales at Faneuil Hall, the Prudential Center, or shops around Downtown Crossing. 

For more Labor Day activity ideas click here. Enjoy the long weekend with your visitors!! 

 


Rio Recap : Gymnastics

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, August 12, 2016



With the 2016 Summer Olympics now in full swing, watching TV with your host student has now become much more exciting! If you haven't been able to catch any of the events we got you covered. Here is a little recap of key moments  in the world of Olympic gymnastics that everyone is talking about. 

The Women 


The Final Five (aka US women's gymnastics team) won gold in the team event last week, making them the best team in the world...for the fifth time. The US team has won two consecutive Olympic gold's and three world championships titles in 2011, 2014 and 2015. What's even more impressive is that they didn't just win by a little, they won by ALOT. Like record breaking a lot. Like the largest margin of victory since the "Perfect 10" scoring system was replaced a lot. Who's on the team? Former Olympian (and Needham native ! ) Aly Raisman, other former Olympian Gabby Douglas, along with Olympic newbies Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez, and Simone Biles. Whats with the name? The Final Five is referring to the new Olympic rule, which requires all future gymnastics teams to be composed of four girls instead of five. Clever.

In the team event, Russia won the silver medal followed by China wining the bronze.


Final Five member Simone Biles won the women's individual all around gold medal on Thursday, making her the greatest female gymnast in the world on the best team in the world...oh and btw she's only 19. Simone Biles even has a special manouver named after her, as shes the only gymnast that has the ability to perform it. The "Biles"  is a double layout with a half twist followed by a stage leap. You can watch all 4 feet and 9 inches of Simone Biles doing absolutely amazing things in this video here.

In this event, Aly Raisman won the second place medal and Russian Aliya Mustafina won third.

 

The Men


There was some controversy in the realm of men's gymnastics this week when Kohei Uchimura (aka the Michael Phelps of gymnastics - aka arguably the greatest gymnast in the world) became the first person to defend an Olympic all around championship in more than 40 years. He was nearly beaten by Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev, who was the only male in the competition to score a 16 on any apparatus- very impressive. Uchimura only beat Verniaiev by a tenth of a point - thus, controversy.  When asked if he believed the scoring was unfair Uchimura said that it absolutely was not. Verniaiev probably disagrees with that, but being the classy athlete he is, he is staying out of the drama. 

Adjusting to American Culture: Tips from our Japanese Culture Consultant

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, August 08, 2016

Last week, Ayano gave some advice about assimilating to life in the U.S. and shared her own personal story about coming here from Japan. This week, another Global Immersions employee, Gen, recalls his experience as an international Japanese student in the U.S. and shares important tips for potential international students. 


"My first destination when I came to the United States five years ago was Burlington, Vermont and I went to a small liberal arts college for four months to take some summer courses. Since I had a prior experience in participating in a summer English program back in 2007 at the same college, my adjustment to the U.S. culture and a new life went very smooth without any problems. I had some American friends from my first trip who were so generous to help me out with my move-in and getting all the necessities, like my cell phone, laptop and etc. The friendly and peaceful environment of Vermont also gave me a homey feeling, which made my stay so comfortable. After a couple of months passed, I made some close friends who I would always hang out with, I was doing surprisingly well with all the classes, and got completely used to my new surroundings. Everything was going exactly what I expected it to be.

At the end of August 2011, it was time for me to leave Vermont to start my new life in Boston. I was already admitted to Northeastern University before leaving Japan, and going to a full-time university in the United States had always been my dream, so I could not complain how lucky and granted I was. But to be honest, I was considering cancelling my admission to Northeastern, and register for the college in Vermont as a full-time student instead, just so I could continue the fun college life I was having. I had never been determined to move to Boston to start my upcoming five years college life. Rather, expectations from my parents, my classmates from my old high school, and people who supported me back home pushed me towards making that decision. Aside from my actual desire to study international relations and cultures in the U.S., coming to study at a well-known school and to live in a big city was only a "cool thing" for me.

Five years have passed, and now that I graduated from Northeastern and successfully completed my college life in Boston, I even feel it was ridiculous that I had such anxiety and concerns. As a Japanese from a small city which is in nowhere close from any of the metropolises, it was definitely comfortable to live in Vermont. I felt the sense of community within the campus and outside. For most of the international students studying in Boston, the hardest challenge would be how quickly they can adjust to their new lifestyles in Boston, and to the American culture. The longer the adjustment takes, the more stressful a student would feel over time. Everybody needs to undergo the period of adjustment, and we all understand that it takes some time. Living away from the environment you've loved and feel comfortable of can be extremely stressful. So, how can we try to minimize such stress? Here are some tips and advice for you as a Japanese cultural consultant here at Global Immersions.


First, it is very common to feel insecure, anxious and uncomfortable being in a new environment. But remember, everyone else is on the same page. It is even a waste of time to be thinking that you might be the only one who's experiencing such struggle. Adjusting to a new environment does not necessarily mean making lots of new friends, or knowing more places in the city than your friends do. Adjustment is not a competition. If you hurry trying to "fit in" to the new things, you will eventually exhaust yourself. When you are feeling nervous about your new life, so is everybody else you got to know, and take your time to slowly get accustomed to your surroundings.

Secondly, do not forget the most simple elements and the easiest things you can do. Say "hi" and smile. This may sound a bit ridiculous because everyone can do these and is doing so in day-to-day life. Well, the reality is, it is very easy to forget to smile and greet friendly when you are in the middle of the adjustment period of feeling a little discouraged. Don't we all have this kind of experience when feeling so left behind comparing to others who seem to be having the successful start of new college life, and you start to worry about yourself? Again, it is a waste of time tiring yourself with such worries first of all like I mentioned, but more importantly, everyone will be fully accustomed to their new lives in Boston regardless of  how quickly the adjustment takes. We'll all get to the same point eventually, so why hurry? Instead, you should always be a nice "diplomat" to yourself. I can guarantee that new people you meet will remember you after some years, just because you left a nice impression on them.

Lastly, accept the fact that you are living in a completely different environment, and that your comfort zone does not exist around you anymore, unless you try to create one. When I moved to Boston from Vermont, all I could think about was the "losses", like friends I made there, my favorite beautiful view I could see from my dorm room window, campus, stores, Ben & Jerry ice cream (Boston has more store locations than its birthplace Burlington actually)...  But obviously, leaving the beloved town and people behind and moving to a new location does not only cause you those losses. You'll meet so many new people, get to know new great sites you can go, find your own place where you can relax. Discovering all these positive aspects of the new place could only be possible if you stay open-minded and are ready to accept the differences.

If you are considering on studying abroad and have the same worries and anxieties as I did five years ago, I can guarantee you that you all will do just fine, and will have such awesome experiences when you have completed your programs. After all, adjustment is not all about a series of stressful moments you have to go through. And remember, you can get accustomed to the new environment only at your own comfortable pace, always be nice and smile, and get out in the city and find what your new favorites are!"