#FIUGoesAbroad: First day of class

Kinkakuji (Golden pavilion)

For some students, summer is about getting some R&R until fall comes around. Others have to take summer classes. And a few take it a step further and study abroad. FIU Goes Abroad will follow students on their trips around the globe and showcase their journey using their photos, videos and gifs.

Shalisha and Shonda Witherspoon, the anime-loving identical twins who ventured off to Japan for their summer study abroad session, continued their expedition this week with their first day of class at Ritsumeikan University. The day include Japanese language class and an excursion to Kinkakuji, also known as the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. (Read their first blog post here.)


Our Japanese language class is from 9 a.m. to noon every weekday, so it’s pretty intense. Out of 5 levels, we both managed to be placed in the 4th level. We are pretty proud of ourselves! We have two teachers depending on the day, and so far, we like both of our sensei! We know that we can do well in this class. Ganbarimasu (to carry through one’s task, putting up with difficulties and striving to overcome all hardships)!

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[After class], we got to meet our Japanese buddies for the summer program. There were so many of them, and they were all very nice – a great way to practice Japanese conversation! Kinkakuji is very close to Ritsumeikan, so all of the students and the buddies literally just walked 10 to 15 minutes [to go see Temple of the Golden Pavilion].

The site was so peaceful and breathtaking. We literally couldn’t keep our eyes off of it. The scenery around the pavilion was just so green and natural, and we’ve never seen anything like that before in our lives. All of Kyoto is truly beautiful, and the hills and mountains in the distance are an amazing site to see each day.

We didn’t expect our first day to be so long and exciting! We were really exhausted by the end of the day, but we look forward to the many adventures that still await us here in Kyoto!

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