My name is Jørgen Steen, I am 26 years old and from Norway. I live in Trondheim where I study electrical engineering, but I also have a bachelor degree in social anthropology. I have traveled a lot for my age, so I am quite used to meeting other cultures and I appreciate our differences. This might be the reason I chose to study social anthropology in the first place. I spent 5 months of my degree in India and really enjoyed living abroad. I enjoyed it so much that when I had decided I was going to Japan I knew I had to stay there for at least a month!
My fascination with Japan started with them having similar technology as the west, but at the same time a different culture to place it in and how this combination has unfolded in a very unique way. When I started at my university I saw that I could take a Japanese culture and language class. Naturally I jumped at the chance. The course made me even more interested in Japan, so much so that I felt I had to go there. Luckily one of my classmates told me about a program called World Campus – Japan, and how much he had enjoyed it. His passion for the program made me apply.
I joined the second session, and never regretted this decision. It was more enjoyable than I had imagined. My biggest surprise was the host families. I was a bit nervous about interacting with them, but it went really well. They were all very welcoming and nice, and we still keep in touch! Living with them also improved my Japanese. Speaking and listening to them on a daily basis helped me get a better feel for the rhythm of the language.
Traveling has not been the same after World Campus – Japan. It made me realize how much a little local information improves a trip. So now I prefer traveling to places I know someone. Without the local knowledge I feel like I am missing out.
I hope you will join us for this year’s session of World Campus – Japan Program. See you there!
Jørgen Steen (Norway)