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Meet Nick Case (he/him)

Program and Location:

Spring, Sophia University; Tokyo, Japan


Computer Science/Japanese Language

Why did you choose to study abroad?

I chose to study abroad because it was one of the things I’ve always wanted to do. Living and studying in another country was something I always thought would be super cool to do, but was unsure of it until I got to NCSU. My sophomore year, I made a friend who had studied abroad in Austria and was about to go teach there after graduating. They told me that college is the time to live and explore abroad, and that most people they talked to who graduated regretted not studying abroad during their time at NCSU. Along with wanting to use my Japanese Language minor, this was more than enough reason to choose to study abroad. I didn’t want to miss out on something that I have wanted to do my entire life.

What did you learn about yourself?

While abroad, I learned lots about myself. When I was abroad in a new country, with a new culture, new language, separated from what is comfortable, that is where I grew and was able to learn so much about myself. I learned that it is okay to be myself, no matter where I go, people will be welcoming and friendly. I learned that doing things alone like taking yourself on a day trip is perfectly acceptable. Study abroad completely changed up my perspective on myself and how interact with people and I’m so glad it did.

What was one of your favorite parts of your program?

One of my favorite parts of my program was the location that I studied abroad in. Tokyo is the largest city in the world and so there was also stuff to do. Some days after class, I would have plans with friends or myself to go somewhere in the city and other days, I had no plans so I just got on the train and got off on an interesting sounding train station. Tokyo had so much to do and there was never a shortage of food to eat, places to explore and experiences to be had. And even outside of Tokyo was super accessible due to the train system. I took day trips to the beach, to the mountains, other large cities because I was able to! I took overnight trips as well to see some amazing places that weren’t in Tokyo, but because Tokyo is such an important city, there were trains that went everywhere.

What advice do you have to future study abroad students?

For future study abroad students, I would tell them to just go for it. If you think study abroad sounds interesting, just do it. It might seem super daunting, the whole application process, living in a new country for 3-4 months, but it is 100% worth it. If you want to study abroad, you should do it.

How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at NC State? Did you take any field trips or do anything outside of the traditional classroom?

My classes abroad were very different than if I would have taken them at NC State. First, the topics of some of my classes were very unique and I don’t think I could have even taken them at NC State. I took Introduction to Japanese Society and South Asian Aesthetics. Introduction to Japanese Society was a sociology course that went through the different aspects of Japanese life and culture, analyzing them and comparing them to different countries. It was truly a unique class because I could learn about the demographics and then literally see it when I am out and about in the city. South Asian Aesthetics was my favorite class when I was there, looking at the philosophy and literature of aesthetics in India/Bangladesh. I learned so much in this class that I probably could not have learned anywhere else. It was such a unique class with an amazing professor and I loved the chance to learn about a topic that is not often talked about.

Would you do it again?