My name is Patrick Tracy and I am a senior Studio Major and Asian Studies Minor. I just got back from spending 5 1/2 months in various locations around Japan volunteering, teaching, working, and studying. From my first days in the oceanside city of Onomichi, to the vibrant lively city of Tokyo, the culturally rich Kyoto, and the gorgeous ancient capital of Japan, Kamakura, my stay in Japan was an amazing and truly life changing opportunity that I will never forget. Everyone should take the opportunity to study abroad in Asia. It is such a culturally rich part of our world!
I spent one month volunteering as an English teacher at an Onomichi city YMCA in Hiroshima Prefecture. Teaching children was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.
Teaching an English art class in Onomichi --volunteering is a great way to get involved in the community and get great exposure to the local culture.
Onomichi: A panoramic view of the coast of Onomichi, where I lived for a month. The Pacific Ocean was gorgeous!
The Genbaku Dome in Hiroshima: I also got the opportunity to travel to Hiroshima for the 66th anniversary of the atomic bomb. It was a very sobering experience. But I was thankful for it. As a history buff and an American, I felt it was important that I gain some perspective on such an important event in American and Japanese history.
Peace Lanterns: The peace lantern ceremony is one in which children and people all around Japan light lanterns on the anniversary of the atomic bomb to pray for peace. They line up, place a candle in the lantern and pray as they set it adrift, lighting up an otherwise dark river. If you ever have the chance, it is an amazing sight.