My name is Vinicius Hiroki Moriyama. I am a Brazilian student at Erasmus University Rotterdam in International Business Administration. During my 3rd year, I did an exchange to NUCB. The experiences I had completely changed my perceptions of myself, and of what it means to live Japan.
Going on an exchange to Japan was a matter of understanding myself. I have a strong Japanese heritage, so I have always been familiar with the Japanese ways of living. Many aspects of my behavior, ideology and beliefs were constructed through my family, who exposed me to the Japanese culture. Though my identity had Japanese influence, I had never been to Japan. Spending 4 months in Japan was the chance I had to compare the image of Japan I had and the reality of the country.
Japan proved most of my expectations; salary men work extremely hard, ramen is an everyday meal, and other cultural facts. If I had to describe the country, I would say that it is a parallel universe inside planet Earth. Citizens there live in completely different compared to the Western World, and many of its Asian counterparts. Living there opened my mind to a new way of living, one I only saw in the multiple anime I watched. I would highly recommend Japan for those looking for a culture shock.
What I miss the most about NUCB is the routine I had there. I lived in a dorm close to campus, so every morning I biked there and had the cheap breakfast offered at the cafeteria. Afterwards I had classes or did some university work, followed by my part-time job. I would meet all my exchange and Japanese friends, with whom I grew pretty close to over the 4 months I was there. During the evenings or weekdays, there was always something going on. I loved the karaoke in particular, they are super fun. In a sum, I had a very peaceful and light life there.
To conclude, I recommend going to Japan at least once in the life of everyone in this planet. There is no culture like the Japanese. Even though it does not suit everyone, I think anyone can learn something from their ways of living.