Peter Cheung, a Tabor student from Hong Kong, was chosen as Tabor’s CIEE Tokyo 2018 Idemitsu Scholar
And so, I have returned from Japan, the land of the rising sun! Now as I look back at the pictures and pick up the pieces of my memories, I know the trip was one of the most valuable experiences in my life.
I am greatly honored to have been able to live beyond the Arifureta (Ordinary Life) and to travel to an exotic country of such unique and appealing culture. I was also honored to meet one of Tabor's alumni from Tokyo, Mr. Idemitsu ’52, who not only greeted me for lunch, but also showed me his marvelous Idemitsu Museum of Art, including one antique that is even classified as a national treasure!
When I arrived in Japan, I was excited but filled with worries. Despite the fact that I have been to the country before, I wondered: How do I communicate when I barely speak the language? Will I smoothly integrate into the community? However, these worries quickly flew away when the CIEE program directors introduced me to the community through fun activities that allowed me to fit in quickly. For example, I had the opportunity to speak to Japanese college students who speak a respective amount of English to my Japanese, and I visited a local kindergarten to interact with the children there.
Each day, I took a three-hour Japanese class in the morning and was immediately able to put the lessons I learned to use in the afternoon during my free time in the districts. While my language skill grew, the most important part was being able to immerse myself in another culture and look at the world from a different perspective. I am certain my experiences in Japan will be useful throughout my life.