Sholl experiences Japanese culture through Study Abroad Program

February 7, 2003

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2003_02_07.jpgSebastian Sholl with his host mother and host sister in Japan.

PLATTEVILLE-UW-Platteville student Sebastian Sholl has returned to campus after studying for nearly four months in Nagasaki, Japan, at the Nagasaki College of Foreign Languages (Division of Nagasaki Gaidai). Originally from Verona, Sholl is a third-year student currently majoring in electrical engineering.

Sholl, who is employed on campus as a web developer, was first inspired to study abroad after hearing many good things about the program from his friends. He was also looking for a break from school. Sholl specifically chose to study in Japan because of a constant interest in the country since he was in high school.

"I had always found Europe to be a little too much like the U.S. Japan is very different from [here] and that is what interested me."

During his stay in Japan, Sholl lived with two different Japanese families. One family had young children while the other housed the entire family, including the grandparents.

To complete his study, Sholl attended the required Japanese language courses and chose to take a variety of lessons covering traditional Japanese arts such as tea ceremony, kimono, traditional dance, flower arranging, aikido, sumo and karate. In addition, Sholl took classes in Japanese modern literature, society and economics.

After completing the study abroad program, Sholl spent a week traveling in Japan. He visited Tokyo for a few days and also Kyoto, the oldest capital in Japan and home to many shrines, temples and other historically interesting sites.

Sholl's most memorable experience occurred while attending a festival in Nagasaki. An older Japanese man had invited him to attend along with another study abroad student and two Japanese students who Sholl befriended from the campus. Those at the festival were so excited to see a foreigner interested in their events that they asked him to participate.

Sholl recommends the study abroad program to all students.

"I think it is very important for everyone to consider spending a semester abroad. It's very fun and very rewarding."

Sholl said the study abroad office at UWP was very helpful throughout the planning of his trip and that any problems that arose were easily remedied.

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