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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Soka chapter.

A unique aspect of our school is that we are required to take language classes and go on a semester of study abroad during our junior year. Students have the option to study Spanish, French, Japanese, or Chinese while living in a country where that language is spoken and attending a local university. Sophomores are currently busy preparing for study abroad, with half of the class going in fall and the other half in spring. So, we asked several students where they are going and what they are excited and nervous about. Here are some of their answers!

1. Paris, FranceLydia B.

I’m excited to have a plethora of new experiences, particularly visiting a bookstore that I’ve been eyeing for years and living somewhere with functional public transport. I’m nervous about having study abroad as my first overseas trip, becoming socially isolated, and not getting along with my host family.

2. Shinjuku, Tokyo, JapanMiki T. 

I’m excited to live in/right next to a city since I’ve never experienced that before. I’m nervous about making friends with both other international students and local students! I want to study a lot, but I also want to socialize and enjoy my time there, it’s just scary since I’m not sure how to do that or who to do it with.

3. Barcelona, Spain – Thomas K.

I’m excited to experience a different culture and a slower pace of life. I’m nervous about living with a host family and having to speak Spanish a lot, especially because I really hate small talk.

4. Quito, Ecuador – Clarissa C.

Of course there’s the fear of not being able to communicate with local people because my Spanish isn’t good enough, but also just living for five months in a foreign country is both scary and exciting! I’m looking forward to exploring the city, (of course) trying new food, and hopefully making lots of friends. 

5. Quito, Ecuador – Shivi T. 

I’m excited to learn from a new place and challenging myself, scared that we might get robbed and lose all our money because the study abroad director scared us by sharing past incidents.

6. Hachioji, Japan – Darby N.

Excited to drink STRONG ZERO every night but nervous about the six-month long hangover.

7. Beijing, China – Mark C.

I’m excited to travel to a country which I’ve never gone to before. Also, learning more about my ancestry and improving my Chinese skills is a plus. I am also interested in clearing up any negative stereotypes and misconceptions I’ve heard about mainlanders. I am also super keen on learning more about Chinese history and culture and what sort of social problems the people face over there. And traveling to the various cities and visiting the famous landmarks and eating lots of good cheap food!

Nellie Hultman is currently a sophomore at Soka University of America where she is studying Social and Behavioral Sciences. She is the Campus Correspondent for the Her Campus chapter at Soka. After living in 6 countries, she has developed a love for traveling, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, and trying new foods (lots of it). She hopes to continue traveling the world throughout her life. She plans to attend law school after college, and she desires to build a life focused on inspiring, empowering, and serving others. When she’s not doing homework or thinking about ways to change the world, you can find her researching unsolved crimes, singing in the car, watching Seinfeld… or eating.