My experience with the ASU Visualization and Simulation in Tokyo, Japan summer study abroad program is one I will never forget. I had always wanted to go to Japan, and being able to see the culture there for myself was absolutely incredible. I got to meet some of the nicest and most welcoming people I have ever encountered, and partake in a grand variety of new foods, art, activities, places, and lifestyles. Our coordinator guided us through many of the business hubs that exist in Japan, and the class got to see first hand just how advanced these international supply chains such as Panasonic and Nissan are. On this trip, we gained experience with computer programming and learned how to build city design and traffic planning simulations, modeling it after places we saw in the urban setting of Tokyo. It gave me extra experience with programming that other students did not have, and I am being honest when I say that the first thing recruiters ask me about when I hand my resume to them is “You went to Japan! Tell me about that”.
Being able to talk about something fun and exciting like a study abroad trip while also demonstrating its value to the professional who is interested is something that has done me well. More importantly, however, is just the lifetime experience I will carry with me from being able to have gone to Japan, or to just travel outside the familiar. It made me realize that life as I knew it was not the only way, and that we are just one part of something much bigger that is the human experience. It made me appreciate the contribution Japan’s culture has given to the world in its art. I know for sure Tokyo is something I will have to revisit!