Study Abroad


Saeko Takahashi

From the autumn semester of my junior year, I took a year off to study in León, Spain. The reason I decided to do a privately funded year abroad was that the town I wanted to study in was not one of the options for an exchange program, and also because I wanted to spend a full four years at Sophia University. I entered a foreign student program affiliated with a university, and instead of relying on a study-abroad agent to handle the negotiations in Spanish for the program and dormitory, the visa application, and so on, I did it myself with advice from my professor and senior students. While I did have a number of mishaps, it was a good rehearsal for my actual study abroad experience.

León is a quiet city in northern Spain that is famous for its cathedral and its bar district. I was living in a university dorm, so I was surrounded by Spanish people and was able to experience the lifestyle of the local students. Since returning to Japan, I have kept in touch with my roommate at the time.

When you are a foreign student, every day is filled with events and discoveries, and while there are of course some unpleasant memories as well, you have experiences that you cannot imagine when you are in Japan. For me, it was well worth it to extend my studies by a year, and I hope to use this valuable experience in my life.