Emily Harris

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Bradford

Heinz Programming Area:
Arts and Culture
International Experience Summary:

Emily spent over four months both studying and immersing herself into Japanese culture. For the duration of her time she studied Business and Japanese at the Yokohama College of Commerce. One of the most special things she was able to experience was being able to live in Japan and follow in the steps of her host family and live in the day-to-day lifestyle of the Japanese. Being able to stay for an extended period of time allowed for deep development and growth that would not have been possible with just a short stay. Over the course of the months she was studying, her Japanese language skills greatly improved through the help of her one–on-one tutor and her host family. Emily also had the wonderful and enriching experience of being able to voluntarily teach an English class for Japanese students that would travel to her home university in America.  Once a week she met with the students for a special class in which they could learn more about American culture as well as the language. She strived to teach them to see and appreciate the cultural differences that she witnessed between Japan and America.

Her time in Japan allowed her to travel and participate in things that only seemed possible to obtain through dreams. Visiting the Hiroshima A-bomb dome, hiking on Mount Fuji, and sailing around the Tokyo Bay are just a few of the highlights of her experience. One of the most moving experiences came from traveling around the old historical town of Kamakura. While visiting the Hase-Dera temple with other students she was able to see the temple’s Golden Kannon. The sight of this wonderful and profound piece of art reminded her of the power of culture and the importance of travel.  Being able to live through and enjoy so many wonderful experiences has truly changed her and made her strive for the best in life. Now, she knows that nothing is impossible and any dreams can be accomplished through hard work and understanding.