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Campus Celeb: Mika Adachi

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


Meet this week’s campus celebrity, Mika Adachi! 

When we met in class and got to know each other, I was really intrigued about where you’ve lived in the past. Could you share with the Her Campus Waseda readers as well? 

To start off, I was born in Okazaki, Aichi and lived there until I was around 10 years old. My family moved to Bangalore, India and we lived there for about 3 years. After that I came back to Aichi until my first year of high school, then we moved to Durban, South Africa where I graduated high school. After high school we moved back to Japan. My family went back to Aichi, but I came to Tokyo for university and I’m currently a fourth year student. 

Japan, India, and South Africa are 3 completely different countries. What were some of the cultural differences that surprised you most? 

In India, I went to an international school so I didn’t have many experiences engaging with the community there. I was also 10 years old, so rather than appreciating being able to live in a differenct country, at the time, it felt more like just tagging along with my parents. That’s something I regret. I wish I knew to appreciate my surroundings more. But living in India did really make me appreciate what we have in Japan. Unlike Japan, in India it’s not safe to drink the tap water, so we were often washing vegetables and doing other things such as brushing our teeth with bottled water. It was also super common to walk around and see a cow. It’s crazy because the cow is sacred in India.or example, if one was crossing a road, you had to wait for it to finish crossing in order to keep going. 

Japan is considered a really safe country to live in. You often see young children commuting to school by themselves, but in South Africa it’s not as safe. I think because South Africa was a completely different environment, my parents were really worried when I went out, especially at night. I think that was the biggest cultural difference between home and living in South Africa. 

And what were the best parts? 

From what I remember, India in general was just a really fun experience. I was really close with other students at my international school, it was a small class, but almost all of us were from different countries and came from different backgrounds and I thought it was really cool to be able to have fun. There’s a lot we can’t do in Japan, that’s considered normal in India!

I spent three years of high school in South Africa, and I don’t think that high schoolers where I lived enjoyed their time any differently than other countries. We studied hard, hung out, I even had prom. I think the best part about South Africa were the friends I made. 

Until now you probably thought of Japan as simply home, but after living in different countries how did your image or thoughts on Japan change after you came back?

Japan is a truly advanced country in comparison to both India and South Africa. I find it to be a lot safer, we have access to so many things, and access to them super easily. For example, when we first arrived in South Africa a few of our things were stolen right out of our suitcases, but something like that would almost never happen in Japan. In Japan if you lose your wallet, most of the time someone will return it to the police for you. You couldn’t be flashing off any *clocks, accessories, buecause you would get it stolen. In that sense, Japan is a really safe country to live in. 

I know it’s job hunting season here in Japan and you’re quite busy so I’ll cut the interview here with one more question. What advice do you have for someone who plans to visit Japan? 

The drinking culture in Japan is crazy. If you go into a bar, you’re bound to make a friend. You can also drink on the streets! If you thought drinking in your country was crazy, wait until you come here. 

That’s so true. It’s super common for us to see people drinking outside, as well as passed out outside… Thank you for your time, Mika!