By: Tatu Meagher, Simon Fraser University, winner of the Fall 2022 BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship
Study Abroad Destination: Japan
Finally, my study abroad journey is starting to come to a close. I think a lot of people like to share their experience within the first couple months, or somewhere in the middle, as those tend to be the most exciting. However, I’ve realized that the last few months of exchange are even more meaningful. Compared to all the time I’ve spent here, it’s been the more recent experiences that have been the most rewarding, as well as the most difficult. They have been full of memorable moments of happiness and joy, along with plenty of intensely melancholic and emotional moments. After all, it’s difficult to enjoy time with those you’ve come to love when you know it’s limited.
At a time where many of us are getting to know ourselves, I think a lot of us who choose to study abroad are looking for some kind of change or sense of clarity in our lives. Often, people share stories about moving away from home because they’re unhappy or alone. At times like these, I think it’s only natural to want to set out on an adventure to explore the world! It could be the perfect way to start a new and fulfilling chapter in life. When I first left home, I was hoping to create an experience where I could find a place for myself somewhere in this world that I had not yet found back home. In this respect, studying abroad has been everything I had hoped for and more! What a meaningful experience I have been so lucky to have. I’ve come to feel as though this (once) new place has become somewhere where I belong – my new home!
Unfortunately, the more we get attached, the harder it is to let go. With my return to Vancouver around the corner, I’ve been quite emotional. Rather than feeling as if I’m leaving to go home, I have to come to feel that I’m leaving home. To those of you in the same boat, as we let go of some of the most meaningful places and people in our lives, let’s try our best to hang on to the new connections and memories we’ve made and brace for our return